Official Boater Safety Education Course

Take this Michigan state–approved online course and complete your classroom requirement in a few hours.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources, US Coast Guard, and NASBLA logos Approved by Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Who Needs the Card?

Boaters born after June 30, 1996, and most PWC operators, who operate a vessel in Michigan

Get your Michigan Boating Safety Certificate in 3 steps.

  1. Study and Pass the Michigan Boater Safety Course

    Study the free online course material. After completing the course, you’ll take the Michigan Online Course Exam. (If you don’t pass on the first try, don’t worry. Keep taking the Online Course Exam for free until you pass.)

  2. Pass the Final Exam

    After completing the course and passing the Michigan boating license final exam, you'll pay the $29.50 course fee. (If you don’t pass on the first try, don't worry. Keep taking the exam for free until you pass.)

  3. Print Your Certificate!

    After you pass the final exam, instantly print out your Michigan Boating Safety Certificate and that’s it. You’re done. You’re ready to get on the water safely and legally in Michigan.

    Ready? Start the Course Today →

What to Expect When Taking the Course

Learning: Step by Step

To help you improve your boating skills and to prepare you for the Online Course Exam, the course is broken down into 6 easy-to-understand units that you can complete at your own pace:

  • Unit 1: Before Getting Underway
  • Unit 2: Getting Out on the Water
  • Unit 3: Navigation and Safe Operation
  • Unit 4: Michigan's Legal Requirements of Boating
  • Unit 5: Boating Emergencies
  • Unit 6: Enjoying Water Sports

Reinforcement: Unit Quizzes

As you progress through the course, you’ll be given the opportunity to demonstrate how well you’re understanding the boater safety topics by taking a quiz at the end of each of the 6 units.

You’ll need to score 70% or greater on the unit quiz before moving on to the next unit.

If you don’t pass a unit quiz, that’s no problem. You’ll just go back and study the unit again until you’re ready to pass.

Mastery: The Online Course Exam

After completing all units, you’ll have the choice to proceed directly to the Online Course Exam or you may first take a practice exam.

Both the practice exam and the Online Course Exam cover all the course material and will assess your knowledge of boating safely on Michigan waters.

You must score 80% or greater on the Online Course Exam to pass. If you fail the Online Course Exam, there is no penalty. You can retake the exam as many times as you like until you pass.

  • Boat ramp etiquette
    Illustration from Unit 2: Getting Out on the Water
  • Boating safety tips
    Illustration from Unit 5: Boating Emergencies
  • Local regulations
    Illustration from Unit 6: Enjoying Water Sports

A Comprehensive Course in Michigan Boating Education

Video Instruction

The Michigan online boater education study guide and course feature context-based video instruction to enhance your retention and motivation. You will watch live-action videos of boat and PWC operators preparing for an outing, using good judgment, and reacting to unexpected changes.

Boating Basics Instruction

The Boat Michigan Course features easy-to-understand boating safety instructions and hundreds of detailed illustrations to help you improve your boating skills and become a better, more prepared skipper.

This online boating safety course is based on Boat Michigan - A Course on Responsible Boating, which was developed and printed by Boat Ed specifically for use with the Boat Michigan Course.

Boat Ed is the only boating safety education course and exam provider that develops print materials on behalf of state government boating and boater safety agencies.

  • Michigan Specific Safety Topics This boater safety course is based on the Boat Michigan - A Course on Responsible Boating manual.
  • Boating safety education has proven to be successful in reducing boating accidents, injuries, and conflicts among boaters Boat Ed is the only boating safety course provider that develops print materials on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Comprehensive Boater Education Content

This Michigan boater education course covers a range of topics—from safety instructions to boat handling to reading the weather—and prepares you for a variety of situations you could find yourself in while on the water.

Boaters can keep themselves and their passengers safe by learning about responsible boat operation, etiquette, and the rules of the water.

Because educated boaters are safer boaters, completing this Michigan-approved online course may also earn you a discount on your boat and PWC insurance.

  • Figure from Unit 4 - Preparing Your Anchor Learn the rules of the water to have a safe and enjoyable day boating in Michigan.
  • Figure from Unit 3 - Penalties for Operating Under the Influence Free boat safety exam training material recognized by Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Interactive Animations

Learning in this Michigan boater safety course is reinforced by the use of interactive animations that help students understand safe boating skills such as understanding traffic laws on the water, dealing with emergencies, and more.

Interactive Animation Preview Video (00:45s)

It’s Official and Approved!

This online boater education course is approved by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as an approved online boating license course.

It’s the Law!

Michigan law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and pleasant. Cooperate with them by following the Michigan boating laws and guidelines in this course.

It’s Fast and Easy!

With this complete boater course, finish your classroom boating safety educational requirement at your own pace on your mobile device or computer in a just a few hours. Complete the course in one sitting or a little at a time. It’s up to you.

It’s Made in the USA!

This Michigan boat license safety course is proudly made in Dallas, Texas, USA, and our servers and data storage facilities are located within the USA.

How do I get my state boating license?

You may have heard that you need the Michigan Boat License to operate your boat, but what you really need is the Michigan Boating Safety Certificate. You can get the Michigan Boating Safety Certificate by taking this Boat License Safety course at Find out if you need the card.

Did you lose your card? Replace it here.

Got the Card? Get the Handbook

The Handbook of Michigan Boating Laws and Responsibilities, developed for Michigan Department of Natural Resources and available online only at

For New and Experienced Michigan Boaters

Approved by:

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 30028
Lansing, MI 48909