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You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Iowa Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Iowa Boater Education Certificate.

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The registration number and validation decals must be displayed as follows.

Placement of validation decal on bow of boat
  • Number must be painted, applied as a decal, or otherwise affixed to the forward half of each side of the vessel, placed for maximum visibility.
  • No other numbers may be displayed on either side of the bow.
  • Number must read from left to right on both sides of the vessel.
  • Number must be in at least three-inch-high, bold, BLOCK letters.
  • Number's color must contrast with its background.
  • Letters must be separated from the numbers by a space or hyphen: IA 3717 ZW or IA-3717-ZW.
  • Decals must be affixed on each side of the vessel, toward the stern of the registration number, 4 inches from and in line with the number.
PWC showing validation decal
PWCs also are required to display the registration number and validation decals.

If a vessel is propelled by sail alone, the registration number may be placed in a position to provide maximum visibility, including placement on the mast.

A sailboard is not required to display the registration number, but the decal must be placed on the bottom surface of the bow of the sailboard.

If your vessel requires registration, it is illegal to operate it or allow others to operate your vessel unless it is registered and numbered as described above.