The Washington Boater Education Card

Complete this Washington State Parks‐approved boating course to get your own Washington boating safety card.

Who needs the Boater Education Card?

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

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

You do not have to be a resident of Washington 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 Washington Boater Education Card 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 Washington Boating License.

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 FAQ.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions