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 the Illinois Boater Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer. Not carrying your Illinois Boater Card when it is required can result in a fine.

Reciprocity

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.”)

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.

Other Questions

For these and other questions about your boating card, please check our FAQs.

How do I get a card?

How do I get a replacement card?

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

Illinois Frequently Asked Questions