About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Virginia Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Virginia Boater Education Certificate.

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The registration number and validation decals must be displayed as follows.

  • Number must be displayed on both sides of the bow.
  • Number must read from left to right on both sides of the bow.
  • Number must be in at least three-inch-high vertical BLOCK letters.
  • Number's color must contrast with its background.
  • Letters and numbers must be separated from the numbers by a space or hyphen; for example, VA 4696 AF or VA-4696-AF.
Validation decal on bow of boat
  • No other numbers may be displayed on either side of the bow.
  • Decals must be affixed to each side of the vessel within six inches of, and in line with, the registration number. Expired decals must be removed.

If your vessel requires registration, it is illegal to operate or allow others to operate your vessel unless it is registered and numbered as described above.

PWC showing validation decal

Personal watercraft also are required to display the registration number and validation decals.