Maryland’s Boater Safety Education Program
Maryland joins more than 40 states with educational requirements for operating a boat or PWC on state waters.
By completing and passing this Maryland–approved online boating license course, you will have satisfied the educational requirement for Maryland.
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It’s the Law!
Get Safe. Get Certified.
Who Needs the Card?
All persons born on or after July 1, 1972, must have in their possession a certificate of boating safety education to operate a numbered or documented vessel (including personal watercraft) legally on Maryland’s public waters. The certificate is valid for the lifetime of the person to whom it is issued.
Anyone under the age of 16 operating a motorized vessel 11 feet in length or greater without a valid boating safety certificate, must be under the supervision of an individual 18 years of age or older who possesses a valid boating safety certificate or an individual born before July 1, 1972. If an individual under the age of 16 is operating a motorized vessel LESS than 11 feet in length, a person of any age possessing a valid certificate of boating safety can provide supervision.
There is no minimum age to take the online boat safety exam.
Those younger than 16 may not operate a PWC, even with a Certificate.
All states, territories, and provinces will recognize boating education cards that meet NASBLA requirements and Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Cards that meet Transport Canada’s requirements. (This is known as “reciprocity.”)
Maryland law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and pleasant. Cooperate with them by following the laws and guidelines.
Carry the Card Vessel operators who are required to have a Boater Education Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer.
Penalty Not carrying your Boater Education Card when one is required can result in a fine.
For More Information
For details about the boater education law, who is exempt from the education requirement, which courses are approved, the Final Exam, and the application for the Boater Education Card, visit http://dnr2.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
Is the Boating Card the same as a Boating License?
The Maryland Boating Safety Education Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed an approved boating safety course. Since the boater education card does not expire and does not need to be renewed, it is not called a Maryland Boating License.
How do I get my state boating license?
You may have heard that you need the Maryland Boat License to operate your boat, but what you really need is the Maryland Boating Safety Education Certificate. You can get the Maryland Boating Safety Education Certificate 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.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401