The Virginia Boater Education Card
Proof that you have successfully completed the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries–approved boating safety course
To get your own Virginia boating card, just complete this Virginia online boating license course.
Pay Only When You Pass
Who needs the Boater Education Card?
It’s the Law!
As of July 1, 2011, all PWC operators 50 years old and younger and motorboat operators 20 years of age or younger must complete a boating safety course. This is the beginning of the phase-in of the Education Compliance Requirement for all Virginia boaters.
- All PWC operators, regardless of age, and motorboat operators 30 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2012.
- Motorboat operators 40 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2013.
- Motorboat operators 45 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2014.
- Motorboat operators 50 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2015.
- All motorboat operators, regardless of age, shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2016.
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.
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 a Boating License?
The Virginia Boater Education Card 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 the Virginia Boating License.
I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the Virginia Boater Education Certificate?
Yes. You are not required to have a state driver’s license in order to obtain a Boater Education Card.
How do I get a card?
Get your card in 3 easy steps.
Complete the Course
Step One: Register for the course, study the free online course material, and pass the Virginia quizzes. Once you pass all of the quizzes, you have passed the course.
Print Temporary Certificate
Step Two: After passing and paying the $29.50 course fee, you’ll instantly print out a temporary certificate, which is your temporary operating permit to operate legally on Virginia waters while you wait for your permanent card to arrive.
Get on the Water!
Step Three: Your Virginia Boater Education Card will arrive in the mail in 8-10 business days. While waiting, your temporary certificate (the Temporary Boater Education Certificate) you printed in Step Two will serve as your proof to legally operate on Virginia waters.
How do I get a replacement card?
How do I get my state boating license?
You may have heard that you need the Virginia Boat License to operate your boat, but what you really need is the Virginia Boater Education Certificate. You can get the Virginia 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.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
4010 West Broad Street, P.O. Box 11104
Richmond, Virginia 23230