Maryland Boating Laws and Regulations

Passing this Boating license course will complete your online safety education for Maryland.

Do you need Maryland Boating education?


You need education if you were born after July 1, 1972, and will be operating a boat or PWC in Maryland.

There is no minimum age requirement to take this online course.

You do not have to be a resident of Maryland to take this online course.


Boating education is currently required in several U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

Age and Operator Restrictions

Anyone under the age of 16 operating a motorized vessel 11 feet in length or greater without a valid boating safety certificate, must be under the supervision of an individual 18 years of age or older who possesses a valid boating safety certificate or an individual born before July 1, 1972. If an individual under the age of 16 is operating a motorized vessel LESS than 11 feet in length, a person of any age possessing a valid certificate of boating safety can provide supervision.

Those younger than 16 may not operate a PWC, even with a boating safety certificate.


Maryland 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.

Is the Boating Card the same as the Boating License?

The Maryland Boating Safety Education 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 Maryland Boating License.

Even if not required by law to get the Maryland boating education card, many boaters take the boat safety course in order to save on their PWC or boat insurance.

Do your part to make boating in Maryland an enjoyable pastime! Become an educated, responsible boater by completing the Boat Maryland course, and practice what you learn.


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.”)

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

Frequently Asked Questions