New Hampshire Boating Laws and Regulations

Do you need New Hampshire Boating education?

New Hampshire

You need education if you are at least 16 years old and will be operating a motorboat over 25 hp or a ski craft in New Hampshire.

You must be at least 15 years old to take this online course.

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


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


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.

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.


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.

Is the Boating Card the same as the Boating License?

The New Hampshire Safe Boating 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 New Hampshire Boating License.

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


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