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Create an account and enroll yourself in a Boating Safety Course from the Course Catalog
Study and pass the FREE Boating Safety Course.
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As of January 1, 2014 all boat operators 59 years old and younger are required to have a Washington State issued Boater Education Card indicating that a boating safety education class or equivalency exam has been successfully completed by the card holder. By January 1, 2014, all boat operators meeting the requirements must have an education card.
To operate a motor driven boat of 15 horsepower or greater, a person must be at least twelve years of age or older and complete a boating safety course that is accepted by Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
Beginning January 1, 2008 and as phased in by age, boat operators 12 years of age or older, on boats with 15 HP or more, are required to have a Washington State issued Boater Education Card indicating that a boating safety education class or equivalency exam has been successfully completed by the card holder.
By January 1, 2016, all boat operators meeting the requirements must have an education card. To get your card, fill out this application (click to download) and send it along with a copy of your certificate of course completion to Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission.
Exemption: persons who have a U.S Coast Guard vessel operator's license, or persons visiting Washington State.
Mandatory boater safety education will be phased in as follows:
- January 1, 2008 – All boat operators twenty years old and younger
- January 1, 2009 – All boat operators twenty-five years old and younger
- January 1, 2010 – All boat operators thirty years old and younger
- January 1, 2011 – All boat operators thirty-five years old and younger
- January 1, 2012 – All boat operators forty years old and younger
- January 1, 2013 – All boat operators fifty years old and younger
- January 1, 2014 – All boat operators sixty years old and younger
- January 1, 2015 – All boat operators who are required to have a card will be phased in
All boat operators born before 1/1/1955 will not be required to have a boat operator education card.
No person under 12 years of age can operate a motorboat of 15 or more horsepower.
Persons who do not have a boater education card and are 12 years of age or up can operate a vessel with more that 15 HP if accompanied by and under the direct supervision of a person 16 years of age who has a boater education card.
Beginning January 1, 2008, those operators who are required to have a boating education card and want to rent a vessel, must present the card to livery (rental) operators. If the person, required to have a boating education card, does not have a boating education card, the livery operator must complete an operation and safety checklist with the vessel renter prior to the renter being allowed to use the vessel on the water.
How Do I Get My Washington Certificate?
In order to get your permanent Boater Education ID card, print out your temporary certificate yourself for free and mail a copy to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission along with this form and $10. Your permanent Boater Education ID Card will be mailed to you within 3-4 weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Below are some common questions asked about our FREE boating safety course.
- How much does the course cost?
The BoatU.S. Foundation is a free NASBLA approved course. When you finish, you can print your certificate on your own printer or order a printed paper certificate($5) or plastic card($10) for a fee. Some states will charge additional fees to issue you a permanent state ID verifying completion of a boating safety course. Be sure to read your state's Mandatory Eduation Requirements for more information.
- How do I print my certificate?
Instructions for Users With a Printer:
- Once you have completed all included lessons for a course you will be awarded a certificate of completion (if applicable) which you can print yourself from your My Account screen. It will appear on the left under the calendar as shown in the image (Figure A) above.
- Click on your state name to bring up your printing options (Figure B). To print a paper copy of your certificate click "Print Certificate".
- After you choose "Print Certificate", a separate window will pop-up and you may briefly see the certificate before it moves off screen and your print dialog appears. Then select your printer from the list and click OK. Do not assume that your certificate won't print just because you can't see it.
- How long is my certificate valid?
Your boating safety certificate will never expire. It is valid for life.
- I took the course a while ago, how do I re-print my certificate?
If you took the course prior to August 1, 2010, to re-print your certificate at any time, follow these steps:
- Click on the course you originally took below. (If you cannot remember which course you took please call us at 800-245-2628)
- Enter you email address and first name (make sure you enter the email you used when you registered with the course originally).
- Click Get Previous Certificate and follow the prompts
If you took the course after August 1, 2010, to re-print your certificate at any time, follow these steps:
To view the complete list of questions visit:
Need Help? Contact us!
Most Questions Can Be Answered Through Our FAQs Page.
Call or Email the BoatUS Foundation about our boating safety course or about course questions.
Feel free to call or email if you ever need help while you are taking the course.
Send an email to SmartBoating@BoatUS.com
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Online Course Video:
Great course, and so much more convenient than going at night for several nights... Keep up the great work, and see you on the water.Gene
Thank you so much! This was a great course and I learned so much. Hope you have a great weekend!Lindsay
Thank you. The information that you gave me allowed me to complete the course. Your assistance was very much appreciated.D. White
Thank you so much! You folks are so kind. Good luck with the updates and have safe boating fun this summer!Brennan
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