About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the Rhode Island Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Rhode Island Certificate of Boating Safety Education.

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All those born on or after January 1, 1986, are required to pass an approved boater education course before they legally may operate any vessel powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower.

Anyone operating a personal watercraft (PWC), regardless of age, must have passed an approved boater education course.

The boater education course must be one that is approved by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Operators who are required to have passed a boater education course must carry on board their certificate of completion. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will issue certificates of completion to boaters passing approved courses.

Operators of vessels other than PWC are exempt from the requirements above for any of the following reasons.

  • They are supervised on board by a person 18 years of age or older who has met the education requirements or...
  • They hold a valid commercial vessel operator’s license or...
  • They are not a resident of Rhode Island and meet the requirements of their state of residence or...
  • They have been a resident of Rhode Island for 60 days or less or...
  • They are operating a rented vessel and have successfully completed the requirements for renters (renters of vessels powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower must watch an instructional video and pass a written examination prior to operation).

There are no exemptions for PWC operators. All PWC operators must have passed an approved boating safety course in Rhode Island or their state of residence.

Boating Safety Education Certificate

Boating Safety Education Certificate
Operators required to have a Certificate of Boating Safety Education must carry it on board the vessel.