Who needs the Boater Education Card?
You need education if you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1998, and will be operating a vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 hp in Illinois.
You must be at least 11 years old to take this online course.
You do not have to be a resident of Illinois to take this online course.
You Must 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.
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.”)
Is the Boating Card the same as the Boating License?
The Illinois Boating Safety 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 Illinois Boating License.
I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the Illinois Boater Education Certificate?
Yes. You are not required to have a state driver’s license in order to obtain a Boater Education Card.
For these and other questions about your boating card, please check our FAQs.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Need help? Here are the answers to the questions Illinois Boating students most frequently ask.Frequently Asked Questions