The BoatUS Foundation's Online Course is the only FREE Online Boating Safety Course approved by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to satisfy the mandatory education requirements for boaters and PWC operators born on or after 7/1/1972.

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Recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard, approved by NASBLA and your state boating agency.

How To Get Started:

First, Click Education Requirements above to verify state requirements and then click Certificate/Card Info to learn what options are available for your state.

For a brief tutorial and getting familiar with our new system click here.

Education Requirements:

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Age Requirements:

Maryland’s Boating Safety Education Law is designed to assure that the younger generations of boaters have fundamental knowledge of boating rules and safety and, eventually, all boaters will be operating their boats with a basic level of boating education. The Maryland Boating Safety Education Law requires that any person born on, or after July 1, 1972, must have in their possession a certificate of boating safety education while operating a numbered or documented vessel on Maryland waters.

Course Information:

An official Maryland boating safety education certificate may be obtained by completing an approved boating safety course or passing an equivalent exam. The Natural Resources Police, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the BoatUS Foundation and U.S. Power Squadrons all offer an approved course.

All certificates must be obtained by taking an approved course and exam. The BoatU.S. online course does meet this requirement, and is recognized by the Maryland DNR as proof of education.

A certificate of boating safety education is not required if:

  • A person 16 years of age or older is a resident of another state, visiting Maryland for 60 days or less, in a vessel numbered in another state
  • A person is visiting the State for 90 days or less in a vessel from a foreign country
  • A person is operating a vessel on a body of water located on private property
  • A vessel is operated for commercial purposes

A boating safety education certificate issued by another state is valid in Maryland as long as it meets the criteria of the National Association of the Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). The certificate of Boating Safety Education issued by the Maryland DNR is valid for a lifetime and may not be revoked.

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How Do I Get My Maryland Certificate?

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1. After you complete the course you will be issued a printable copy of your certificate that you can print yourself and use immediately.

2. You will also have the option of ordering a state approved, waterproof plastic card for $15. Please allow 2-3 weeks for your card to arrive.

Complete the Course in Three Easy Steps:

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Enroll yourself in a Boating Safety Course from the Course Catalog

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Study and pass the FREE Boating Safety Course.

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Print out your certificate of completion yourself for free

Get Started Today! Start Now →

Course Information:

4 - 8 Hours

Estimated Course Time

6 Lessons

Each Contains a 10 Question Quiz

Final Exam

60 Questions Pulled Randomly

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Complete the Course at Your Own Pace

Choose when and where to take your course.
Take it on any device with an internet connection and automatically have your progress saved when the window is closed.

Get Started Now →

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.

  • Thank you so much! This was a great course and I learned so much. Hope you have a great weekend!

  • 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!