Texas’s Boater Safety Education Program

Texas joins more than 40 states with educational requirements for operating a boat or PWC on state waters.

By completing and passing this Texas–approved online boating license course, you will have satisfied the educational requirement for Texas.

It’s the Law!

Get Safe. Get Certified.

Who Needs the Card?

Operators must meet the age and boater education requirements shown below in order to operate any of the following vessels legally in Texas:

  • A powerboat powered by a motor of more than 15 horsepower or…
  • A personal watercraft or…
  • A windblown vessel over 14 feet in length.

A person less than 13 years of age may operate only if he or she is supervised by a person who:

  • Is 18 years of age or older and…
  • Can lawfully operate the watercraft and…
  • Is on board when the vessel is underway.

A person at least 13 years of age and born on or after September 1, 1993, may operate without supervision only if he or she has passed a boater education course that is accepted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Age Restrictions

The minimum age to take the online boat safety exam is 13 years old.


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.”)


Texas 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.

For details about the boater education law, who is exempt from the education requirement, which courses are approved, the Certification Exam, and the application for the Boater Education Card, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us.

Quick Links

Is the Boating Card the same as a Boating License?

The Texas Boater Education Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed an approved boating safety course. Since the boater education card does not expire and does not need to be renewed, it is not called a Texas Boating License.

Texas Boater Education Certificate

How do I get my state boating license?

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

Did you lose your card? Replace it here.

Got the Card? Get the Handbook

The Handbook of Texas Boating Laws and Responsibilities, developed for Texas Parks and Wildlife and available online only at boat-ed.com

For New and Experienced Texas Boaters

Approved by:

Texas Parks and Wildlife
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
(512) 389-4800