Nearly all states have some sort of Boater Education requirements that stipulate who can legally operate a motorboat or PWC on their waterways.  However, the laws vary greatly from state to state.  And many have requirements based on the age of the operator or when he/she was born, the size of the motor or whether it is a motorboat or PWC.  In this article, I provide a quick and easy way to identify the specific requirements for your area.

Boater Education Requirements by State

Boater Education Requirements by StateThe National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) has an interactive map to help locate the requirements for each state.  Click on this Boater Education Requirements by State link or the image below to open the map in a separate window.  Then follow the three simple steps below.

  1. Click on your state
  2. Check out the quick summary of the regulations for your state
  3. Click on the “State Education Website” link that is provided.  This is very important because I noticed that some of the summary information provided by NASBLA is out of date.

If a boater safety course is required for your state, you will need to carry a Boater Education Card or Certificate with you while operating your vessel as proof that you have completed the approved training.

And, just as the education requirements vary from state to state, so does the approved training courses.  In most cases, you can find the approved courses by visiting the State Education Website (referenced in step 3 above) or by checking out this article on Online Boater Safety courses.