Montana Boating Laws and Regulations

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

Do you need Montana Boating education?

Montana

You need education if you are 13 or 14 years old and will be operating a motorboat or PWC over 10 hp in Montana.

You must be at least 13 years old to take this online course.

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

Elsewhere

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

Age and Operator Restrictions

In Montana, youths 13 and 14 years of age may operate a motorboat or a personal watercraft powered by a motor rated at more than 10 horsepower only if:

  • They possess a valid Montana motorboat operator’s safety certificate or…
  • They show evidence of completing another state or organization’s NASBLA-approved boating safety course or…
  • They are accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older.

Enforcement

Montana 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 Montana 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 Montana Boating License.

Even if not required by law to get the Montana 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 Montana an enjoyable pastime! Become an educated, responsible boater by completing the Boat Montana course, and practice what you learn.

Reciprocity

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.”)

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

Frequently Asked Questions