Who needs the Boater Education Card?

You need education if you are operating a powered watercraft of 15 hp or more in Washington.

You must be at least 12 years old to take this online course.

You do not have to be a resident of Washington to take this online course.

Exemptions

Education is not required if:

  • Your vessel has an engine that is under 15 hp.
  • You were born prior to January 1, 1955.
  • You hold a valid U.S. Coast Guard Marine Operator’s License.

You Must Carry the Card

Vessel operators who are required to have the Washington Boater Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer. Not carrying your Washington Boater Card when it is required can result in a fine.

Reciprocity

For visiting boaters, 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.”)

I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still get the Washington 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 FAQs.

How do I get a card?

How do I get a replacement card?

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

Washington Frequently Asked Questions