New Mexico Boating Laws and Regulations

Do you need New Mexico Boating education?

New Mexico

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.

Elsewhere

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

Exemptions

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.

Age and Operator Restrictions

All persons must be at least 13 years of age to operate a sailboat, motorboat, or PWC unless they are under the direct, on board supervision of an adult.

Those under 13 years of age must have their New Mexico Boater Education Certificate on board even when operating under direct supervision.

Enforcement

New Mexico 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 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.

Even if not required by law to get the New Mexico 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 Mexico an enjoyable pastime! Become an educated, responsible boater by completing the Boat New Mexico 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.”)

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