Ohio’s Boater Safety Education Program

Ohio joins more than 40 states with educational requirements for operating a boat or PWC on state waters.

By completing and passing this Ohio–approved online boating license course, you will have satisfied the educational requirement for Ohio.

It’s the Law!

Get Safe. Get Certified.

Who Needs the Card?

Boaters born on or after January 1, 1982, must complete either a boating course or a proficiency exam in order to operate a boat powered by more than 10 horsepower.

Even if not required by law to get the Ohio boating license, many boaters take the boat safety course in order to save on their PWC or boat insurance.

Age Restrictions

Children under the age of 12 may not operate a PWC (e.g. Jet-ski, Sea-Doo, etc), under any circumstances.

Children ages 12 to 15 may operate if they have an education certificate and there is an adult (18 or older) onboard with them.

Young adults age 16 and older may operate if they have an education certificate.


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.”)


Ohio 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.

For details about the boater education law, who is exempt from the education requirement, which courses are approved, the Certification Exam, and the application for the Boater Education Card, visit http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov.

Quick Links

Is the Boating Card the same as a Boating License?

The Ohio Boater Education Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed an approved boating safety course. Since the boater education card does not expire and does not need to be renewed, it is not called an Ohio Boating License.

Ohio Boater Education Certificate

How do I get my state boating license?

You may have heard that you need the Ohio Boat License to operate your boat, but what you really need is the Ohio Boater Education Certificate. You can get the Ohio Boater Education Certificate by taking this Boat License Safety course at boat-ed.com. Find out if you need the card.

Did you lose your card? Replace it here.

Approved by:

Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft
2045 Morse Road Building A
Columbus, OH 43229