Arkansas Boating Laws and Regulations

Do you need Arkansas Boating education?


You need education if you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1986, and you are of legal age to operate a motorboat, PWC, or sailboat in Arkansas

There is no minimum age requirement to take this online course.

You do not have to be a resident of Arkansas to take this online course.


Boating education is currently required in several U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

Age and Operator Restrictions

To operate a motorboat powered by an engine of 10 horsepower or more, a person must be 12 years of age or older.

To operate a personal watercraft (PWC), a person must be:

  • 16 years old or older or…
  • 12 to 15 years old and under the direct supervision of a person at least 18 years old or…
  • Under 12 years old and under the direct supervision of a person at least 21 years old.


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.

Is the Boating Card the same as the Boating License?

The Arkansas Boating Safety Education Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed all of the components of an approved Boating safety course and allows you to go boating. Because the Boating education card or certificate does not expire and does not need to be renewed, it is not called the Arkansas Boating License.

Even if not required by law to get the Arkansas boating education card, 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 an enjoyable pastime! Become an educated, responsible boater by completing the Boat Arkansas course, and practice what you learn.


For visiting boaters, 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.”)

Get Certified Online!

Take this Arkansas–approved course to complete your online Boating safety education.

Arkansas Boating safety education card Lifetime Card

unlimited exam attempts

Need help? Here are the answers to the questions Arkansas Boating students most frequently ask.

Frequently Asked Questions