Delaware Boating Laws and Regulations

Do you need Delaware Boating education?


You need education if you were born after Dec. 31, 1977, and will be operating a motorized vessel in Delaware.

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

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


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


The certification is not required for operators who have:

  • A valid U.S. Coast Guard license or…
  • A valid Delaware River Captain and Bay Pilot’s license or equivalent.

Age and Operator Restrictions

  • Those 14 and 15 years of age who hold a boating safety certification card may operate a PWC only if under the direct onboard supervision of his or her parent or legal guardian.
  • Those 16 years of age and older who hold a boating safety certification card may operate a PWC without any restrictions.


Delaware 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 Delaware 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 Delaware Boating License.

Even if not required by law to get the Delaware 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 Delaware an enjoyable pastime! Become an educated, responsible boater by completing the Boat Delaware 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.”)

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

Frequently Asked Questions