Ohio Boating Laws and Regulations

Do you need Ohio Boating education?


You need education if you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, and will be operating a boat or PWC over 10 hp or more in Ohio.

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

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


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

Age and Operator 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) on board with them.

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


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.

Is the Boating Card the same as the Boating License?

The Ohio 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 Ohio Boating License.

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

Get Certified Online!

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

Ohio Boating safety education card Lifetime Card

unlimited exam attempts

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

Frequently Asked Questions