Official Boater Safety Education Course

Take this Illinois state–approved online course, print your temporary certificate, and be on the water in just a few hours.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources, US Coast Guard, and NASBLA logos Approved by Illinois Department of Natural Resources http://www.dnr.illinois.gov

Who Needs the Card?

Persons between 12 and 17 years old who operate a powered boat or PWC in Illinois

Get your Illinois Boater Education Card in 3 steps.

  1. Study and Pass the Illinois Boater Safety Course

    Study the free online course material. After completing the course, you’ll take the Illinois Final Exam. (If you don’t pass on the first try, don’t worry. Keep taking the Final Exam for free until you pass.)

  2. Pay and Print Your Temporary Certificate

    After passing and paying the $29.50 course fee, you’ll instantly print out a temporary certificate, which is your temporary operating permit to operate legally on Illinois waters while you wait for your permanent card to arrive.

  3. Receive Your Boater Education Card in the Mail

    Your lifetime Illinois Boater Education Card will arrive by mail in 8-10 business days. (Use your Boater Education Card to get on the water immediately after passing the course and until your permanent card arrives.)

    Ready? Start the Course Today →

What to Expect When Taking the Course

Learning: Step by Step

To help you improve your boating skills and to prepare you for the Final Exam, the course is broken down into 6 easy-to-understand units that you can complete at your own pace:

  • Unit 1: Before Getting Underway
  • Unit 2: Getting Out on the Water
  • Unit 3: Navigation and Safe Operation
  • Unit 4: Legal Requirements of Boating in Illinois
  • Unit 5: Boating Emergencies
  • Unit 6: Enjoying Water Sports

Reinforcement: Unit Quizzes

As you progress through the course, you’ll be given the opportunity to demonstrate how well you’re understanding the boater safety topics by taking a quiz at the end of each of the 6 units.

You’ll need to score 70% or greater on the unit quiz before moving on to the next unit.

If you don’t pass a unit quiz, that’s no problem. You’ll just go back and study the unit again until you’re ready to pass.

Mastery: The Final Exam

After completing all units, you’ll have the choice to proceed directly to the Final Exam or you may first take a practice exam.

Both the practice exam and the Final Exam cover all the course material and will assess your knowledge of boating safely on Illinois waters.

You must score 80% or greater on the Final Exam to pass. If you fail the Final Exam, there is no penalty. You can retake the exam as many times as you like until you pass.

  • Boat ramp etiquette
    Illustration from Unit 2: Getting Out on the Water
  • Boating safety tips
    Illustration from Unit 5: Boating Emergencies
  • Local regulations
    Illustration from Unit 6: Enjoying Water Sports

A Comprehensive Course in Illinois Boating Education

Boating Basics Instruction

The Boat Illinois Course features easy-to-understand boating safety instructions and hundreds of detailed illustrations to help you improve your boating skills and become a better, more prepared skipper.

This online boating safety course is based on Boat Illinois - A Course on Responsible Boating, which was developed and printed by Boat Ed specifically for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for use in classroom instruction.

Boat Ed is the only boating safety education course and exam provider that develops print materials on behalf of state government boating and boater safety agencies.

  • Illinois Specific Safety Topics This boater safety course is based on the Boat Illinois - A Course on Responsible Boating manual.
  • Boating safety education has proven to be successful in reducing boating accidents, injuries, and conflicts among boaters Boat Ed is the only boating safety course provider that develops print materials on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Comprehensive Boater Education Content

This Illinois boater education course covers a range of topics—from safety instructions to boat handling to reading the weather—and prepares you for a variety of situations you could find yourself in while on the water.

Boaters can keep themselves and their passengers safe by learning about responsible boat operation, etiquette, and the rules of the water.

Because educated boaters are safer boaters, completing this Illinois-approved online course can also earn you a discount on your boat and PWC insurance.

  • Figure from Unit 4 - Preparing Your Anchor Learn the rules of the water to have a safe and enjoyable day boating in Illinois.
  • Figure from Unit 3 - Penalties for Operating Under the Influence
    Free boat safety exam training material recognized by Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Video Instruction

The Illinois online boater education study guide and course feature context-based video instruction to enhance your retention and motivation. You will watch live-action videos of boat and PWC operators preparing for an outing, using good judgement, and reacting to unexpected changes.

  • Casting Off video thumbnail Sample course instructional video, “Casting Off”
  • Capsizing, Swamping, or Falling Overboard video thumbnail Sample course instructional video, “Capsizing, Swamping, or Falling Overboard”

Interactive Animations

Learning in this Illinois boater safety course is reinforced by the use of interactive animations that help students understand safe boating skills such as understanding traffic laws on the water, dealing with emergencies, and more.

Interactive Animation Preview Video (00:45s)

It’s Official and Approved!

This online boater education course is approved by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as an approved online boating license course.

It’s the Law!

Illinois law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and pleasant. Cooperate with them by following the Illinois boating laws and guidelines in this course.

It’s Fast and Easy!

With this complete boater course, finish your classroom boating safety educational requirement at your own pace on your mobile device or computer in a just a few hours. Complete the course in one sitting or a little at a time. It’s up to you.

It’s Made in the USA!

This Illinois boat license safety course is proudly made in Dallas, Texas, USA, and our servers and data storage facilities are located within the USA.

How do I get my state boating license?

You may have heard that you need the Illinois Boat License to operate your boat, but what you really need is the Illinois Boater Education Card. You can get the Illinois Boater Education Card by taking this Boat License Safety course at boat-ed.com. Find out if you need the card.

Did you lose your card? Replace it here.

Got the Card? Get the Handbook

The Handbook of Illinois Boating Laws and Responsibilities, developed for Illinois Department of Natural Resources and available online only at boat-ed.com

For New and Experienced Illinois Boaters

Approved by:

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
217-782-6302
http://www.dnr.illinois.gov