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What is the Boater Education Card?

The South Dakota Boater Education Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed all of the components of an approved boater safety course. While South Dakota does not require boating education, the card allows boating in states that do require a card and may help you save on boating insurance.

You Must Carry the Card

Vessel operators who are required to have the South Dakota Boater Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer. Not carrying your South Dakota 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.”)

I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the South Dakota 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?