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Motorboat operators 12 to 17 years of age, who are visiting Minnesota and who already possess a valid watercraft operator’s certificate/permit issued by their home state don’t need to obtain another one from Minnesota.

You Must Carry the Card

Vessel operators who are required to have the Minnesota Boater Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer. Not carrying your Minnesota Boater Card when it is required can result in a fine.


For visiting boaters, 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.”)

Is the Boating Card the same as the Boating License?

The Minnesota Boater 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 Minnesota Boating License.

I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the Minnesota Boater Education Certificate?

Yes. You are not required to have a state driver’s license in order to obtain a Boater Education Card.

Other Questions

For these and other questions about your boating card, please check our FAQs.

How do I get a card?

How do I get a replacement card?

Get Certified Online!

The Minnesota Boat Ed Course is no longer open to new registrants. You can take the Minnesota-approved course at

Minnesota Boating safety education card Lifetime Card