The Pennsylvania Boater Education Card

Who needs the Boater Education Card?

Regardless of your age, you need education if you will be operating a PWC in PA. You also need education if you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, and will be operating a boat over 25 hp in PA.

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

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


Residents of other states who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, and operate on Pennsylvania waters for 60 days or less are exempt if they hold a boating safety certificate issued by their home state.

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 Pennsylvania Boating Safety 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 Pennsylvania Boating License.

I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania–approved course to complete your online Boating safety education.

Pennsylvania Boating safety education card Lifetime Card

unlimited exam attempts

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
1601 Elmerton Avenue, PO Box 67000
Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000

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

Frequently Asked Questions