The New Mexico Boater Education Card

Who needs the Boater Education Card?

You need education if you were born or after January 1, 1989, and will be operating a motorboat in New Mexico.

There is no minimum age requirement to take this online course.

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


Operators are exempt if they:

  • Possess a valid license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard or…
  • Are renting the motorboat for 30 days or fewer and have received instructions on safe boat operation and a summary of boating law from the rental company.

You Must 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.


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 New Mexico 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 New Mexico Boating License.

I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the New Mexico 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!

Take this New Mexico–approved course to complete your online Boating safety education.

New Mexico Boating safety education card Lifetime Card

unlimited exam attempts

New Mexico State Parks
1220 South St. Francis Drive, P.O. Box 1147
Santa Fe, NM 87505

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

Frequently Asked Questions