Arkansas’s Boater Safety Education Program

Arkansas joins more than 40 states with educational requirements for operating a boat or PWC on state waters.

By completing and passing this Arkansas–approved online boating license course, you will have satisfied the educational requirement for Arkansas.

It’s the Law!

Get Safe. Get Certified.

Who Needs the Card?

To operate any motorboat (including personal watercraft) legally on Arkansas waters, a person who is of legal age to operate a boat, whether an Arkansas resident or a non-resident, and who is born on or after January 1, 1986, must have either a boating education certificate from an approved Arkansas Game & Fish Commission (AGFC) safe boating course or an equivalent certificate issued by another state from a boating education course that is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

Age Restrictions

Operators born before January 1, 1986 are not required to have a boating education certificate.

However, many boaters take the boat safety course in order to save on their PWC or boat insurance. Do your part to make boating in Arkansas a safe, enjoyable pastime! Become an educated, responsible boater by completing the Arkansas course and practice what you learn.


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.”)


Arkansas 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 details about the boater education law, who is exempt from the education requirement, which courses are approved, the Online Boating Exam, and the application for the Boater Education Card, visit

Quick Links

Is the Boating Card the same as a Boating License?

The Arkansas 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 an Arkansas Boating License.

Arkansas Boating Safety Education Certificate

How do I get my state boating license?

You may have heard that you need the Arkansas Boat License to operate your boat, but what you really need is the Arkansas Boating Safety Education Certificate. You can get the Arkansas Boating Safety Education Certificate by taking this Boat License Safety course at Find out if you need the card.

Did you lose your card? Replace it here.

Got the Card? Get the Handbook

The Handbook of Arkansas Boating Laws and Responsibilities, developed for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and available online only at

For New and Experienced Arkansas Boaters

Approved by:

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
2 Natural Resources Dr.
Little Rock, AR 72205