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Course Outline

IL Boating Safety Education Card
Persons successfully completing a boating safety course will be issued a card by the Illinois DNR.

The following are requirements for vessel operators on Illinois waters.

  • Persons born on or after January 1, 1998, may operate a vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower only if they have a valid Boating Safety Certificate accepted by the DNR.
  • Persons under the age of 10 may not operate any motorized vessel, including personal watercraft (PWC).
  • Persons at least 10 years old but less than 12 years old may operate a motorized vessel with more than 10 horsepower, including a PWC, only if they are accompanied by and under the direct control of a parent, a guardian, or a person at least 18 years old designated by the parent or guardian.
  • Persons at least 12 years old but less than 18 years old may operate a motorized vessel with more than 10 horsepower, including a PWC, only if:
    • They complete a boating safety course and possess a Boating Safety Certificate accepted by the DNR or…
    • They are accompanied by and under the direct control of a parent, a guardian, or a person at least 18 years old designated by the parent or guardian.
  • Parents, guardians, or designees born on or after January 1, 1998, must have a valid boating safety certificate to supervise a person 10 to 17 years old who is operating a motorized vessel with more than 10 horsepower.
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