Kentucky’s Boater Safety Education Program

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

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

It’s the Law!

Get Safe. Get Certified.

Who Needs the Card?

Operators 12 to 17 years of age may legally operate a motorized vessel over 10 horsepower (including personal watercraft) only if they:

  • Have passed an approved boating safety course and carry on board their boater education certificate or…
  • Are accompanied on board by a person 18 years old or older or by a person who possesses a boater education card.

Age Restrictions

Kentucky Boater Education Law contains the following age-specific restrictions:

  • A person must be 12 years or older to operate a motorboat (including personal watercraft) 10 horsepower or over on Kentucky public waters.
  • Persons 12 to 17 years of age must have passed an approved boating safety course and carry on board their Kentucky Boater Education Certificate to operate a motorboat (including personal watercraft) of 10 horsepower or more.


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.”)


Kentucky 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 Kentucky Boater 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 Kentucky Boating License.

Kentucky Boater Education Certificate

How do I get my state boating license?

You may have heard that you need the Kentucky Boat License to operate your boat, but what you really need is the Kentucky Boater Education Certificate. You can get the Kentucky Boater 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.

Approved by:

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
#1 Sportsman's Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601