Official Boater Safety Education Course

Take this Tennessee state-approved online course, pass the in-person exam, and get on the water!

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, US Coast Guard, and NASBLA logos Approved by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Who Needs the Card?

Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1989, who operates a motorized vessel over 8.5 hp in Tennessee

Get your Tennessee Boater Education Certificate in 3 steps.

  1. Study and Pass the Tennessee Boater Safety Course

    Study the free online course material. If you choose, you can then take the online exam to prepare for the in-person exam. After passing the online Tennessee Certification Exam and paying the $29.50 course fee, you can print out a temporary certificate. (If you don't pass on the first try, don't worry. Keep taking the exam for free until you pass.)

    Note: Anyone born before January 1, 1989, is not required to have education, but may still complete the online course and receive the Tennessee Boater Education Certificate. Completing this Tennessee-approved course allows you to boat on other state waters that require education and can also earn you a discount on your boat and PWC insurance.

  2. Sign Up for the In-Person Exam

    After studying the online course material, you are required to take an in-person exam administered by a representative of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Before taking the exam, you must purchase a $10 Type 600 boating safety exam permit. Find more information on requirements and testing locations at the TWRA website.

  3. Receive Your TWRA-Issued Boating Safety Education Certificate in the Mail

    After passing the state-required in-person exam, your TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate will arrive in the mail within 8-10 business days. (Use the receipt from your Type 600 boating safety exam permit to get on the water immediately after passing the in-person exam and until your TWRA-issued card arrives.)

    Ready? Start the Course Today →

What to Expect When Taking the Course

Learning: Step by Step

To help you improve your boating skills and to prepare you for the Certification Exam, the course is broken down into 6 easy-to-understand units that you can complete at your own pace:

  • Unit 1: Before Getting Underway
  • Unit 2: Getting Out on the Water
  • Unit 3: Navigation and Safe Operation
  • Unit 4: Tennessee's Legal Requirements of Boating
  • Unit 5: Boating Emergencies
  • Unit 6: Enjoying Water Sports

Reinforcement: Unit Quizzes

As you progress through the course, you’ll be given the opportunity to demonstrate how well you’re understanding the boater safety topics by taking a quiz at the end of each of the 6 units.

You’ll need to score 70% or greater on the unit quiz before moving on to the next unit.

If you don’t pass a unit quiz, that’s no problem. You’ll just go back and study the unit again until you’re ready to pass.

Mastery: The Certification Exam

After completing all units, you’ll have the choice to proceed directly to the Certification Exam or you may first take a practice exam.

Both the practice exam and the Certification Exam cover all the course material and will assess your knowledge of boating safely on Tennessee waters.

You must score 80% or greater on the Certification Exam to pass. If you fail the Certification Exam, there is no penalty. You can retake the exam as many times as you like until you pass.

  • Boat ramp etiquette
    Illustration from Unit 2: Getting Out on the Water
  • Boating safety tips
    Illustration from Unit 5: Boating Emergencies
  • Local regulations
    Illustration from Unit 6: Enjoying Water Sports

A Comprehensive Course in Tennessee Boating Education

Video Instruction

The Tennessee online boater education study guide and course feature context-based video instruction to enhance your retention and motivation. You will watch live-action videos of boat and PWC operators preparing for an outing, using good judgment, and reacting to unexpected changes.

Boating Basics Instruction

The Boat Tennessee Course features easy-to-understand boating safety instructions and hundreds of detailed illustrations to help you improve your boating skills and become a better, more prepared skipper.

This online boating safety course is based on Boat Tennessee - A Course on Responsible Boating, which was developed and printed by Boat Ed specifically for use with the Boat Tennessee Course.

Boat Ed is the only boating safety education course and exam provider that develops print materials on behalf of state government boating and boater safety agencies.

  • Tennessee Specific Safety Topics This boater safety course is based on the Boat Tennessee - A Course on Responsible Boating manual.
  • Boating safety education has proven to be successful in reducing boating accidents, injuries, and conflicts among boaters Boat Ed is the only boating safety course provider that develops print materials on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Comprehensive Boater Education Content

This Tennessee boater education course covers a range of topics—from safety instructions to boat handling to reading the weather—and prepares you for a variety of situations you could find yourself in while on the water.

Boaters can keep themselves and their passengers safe by learning about responsible boat operation, etiquette, and the rules of the water.

Because educated boaters are safer boaters, completing this Tennessee-approved online course may also earn you a discount on your boat and PWC insurance.

  • Figure from Unit 4 - Preparing Your Anchor Learn the rules of the water to have a safe and enjoyable day boating in Tennessee.
  • Figure from Unit 3 - Penalties for Operating Under the Influence Free boat safety exam training material recognized by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Interactive Animations

Learning in this Tennessee boater safety course is reinforced by the use of interactive animations that help students understand safe boating skills such as understanding traffic laws on the water, dealing with emergencies, and more.

Interactive Animation Preview Video (00:45s)

It’s Official and Approved!

This online boater education course is approved by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as an approved online boating license course.

It’s the Law!

Tennessee law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and pleasant. Cooperate with them by following the Tennessee boating laws and guidelines in this course.

It’s Fast and Easy!

With this complete boater course, finish your classroom boating safety educational requirement at your own pace on your mobile device or computer in a just a few hours. Complete the course in one sitting or a little at a time. It’s up to you.

It’s Made in the USA!

This Tennessee boat license safety course is proudly made in Dallas, Texas, USA, and our servers and data storage facilities are located within the USA.

How do I get my state boating license?

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

Did you lose your card? Replace it here.

Got the Card? Get the Handbook

The Handbook of Tennessee Boating Laws and Responsibilities, developed for Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and available online only at

For New and Experienced Tennessee Boaters

Approved by:

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
PO Box 40747
Nashville, TN 37204
(615) 781-6500