Who needs the Boater Education Card?

You need education in New York if you are at least 14 years old and will be operating a PWC or if you are at least 10 years old and born on or after May 1, 1996, will be unaccompanied, and will be operating another type of vessel.

Note: As of January 1, 2020, New York law will require all boat operators to carry the New York boating safety certificate. This law will be phased in over six years.

You must be at least 10 years old to take this online course.

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

You Must Carry the Card

Vessel operators who are required to have the New York Boater Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer. Not carrying your New York Boater Card when it is required can result in a fine.


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 York State Boating Safety Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed all of the components of an approved Boating safety course and allows you to operate on New York waters. The New York Adventure License program lets you choose to have your certification noted, as an anchor icon, on your NY driver’s license or other identification document issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the New York 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?

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

New York Frequently Asked Questions