New Hampshire Boating Laws and Regulations

Age and Operator Restrictions

You must be at least 15 years old to take the online Boat New Hampshire Course and the Proctored Exam for the safe boater education certificate, but the certificate will not be issued until the age of 16.

Exemptions

New Hampshire accepts the following certificates or licenses in lieu of the New Hampshire Safe Boating Certificate.

  • A boating certificate issued by another state agency and NASBLA approved.
  • A boating certificate issued by the U.S. Power Squadrons.
  • A boating certificate issued by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
  • An unexpired commercial boating license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • An unexpired commercial boating license issued by the state of New Hampshire.

Enforcement

New Hampshire 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.

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 New Hampshire Boating students most frequently ask.

Frequently Asked Questions