Delaware’s Boater Safety Education Program

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

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

It’s the Law!

Get Safe. Get Certified.

Who Needs the Card?

All operators born on or after January 1, 1978, must have successfully completed a boating course approved by the DNREC. The only exceptions are persons with a valid U.S. Coast Guard license, or a valid Delaware River Captain and Bay Pilot’s license or equivalent.

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

Age Restrictions

There is no minimum age to take the online boat safety exam.

Personal Watercraft (PWCs)

  • Those under the age of 14 years may not operate a PWC under any conditions.
  • 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.


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.”)


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.

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

Quick Links

Is the Boating Card the same as a Boating License?

The Delaware 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 Delaware Boating License.

Delaware Boating Safety Education Certificate

How do I get my state boating license?

You may have heard that you need the Delaware Boat License to operate your boat, but what you really need is the Delaware Boating Safety Education Certificate. You can get the Delaware 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 Delaware Boating Laws and Responsibilities, developed for Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and available online only at

For New and Experienced Delaware Boaters

Approved by:

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901