The Virginia Boater Education Card

Complete this Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries‐approved boating course to get your own Virginia boating safety card.

Who needs the Boater Education Card?

As of July 1, 2015, all PWC operators age 14 and older and motorboat operators 50 and younger must complete a boating safety course.

Beginning July 1, 2016, all PWC operators age 14 and older and all motorboat operators regardless of age need to take a boating safety course.

There is no minimum age requirement to take this online course.

You do not have to be a resident of Virginia to take the online course.

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.

Reciprocity

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 the Boating License?

The Virginia Boater Education Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed all of the components of an approved Boating safety course and allows you to go boating. Because the Boating education card or certificate 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.

Other Questions

For these and other questions about your boating card, please check our FAQ.

How do I get a card?

How do I get a replacement card?

Need help? Here are the answers to the questions Virginia Boating students most frequently ask.

Frequently Asked Questions