West Virginia’s Boater Safety Education Program

West Virginia joins more than 40 states with educational requirements for operating a boat or PWC on state waters.

By completing and passing this West Virginia–approved online boating license course, you will have satisfied the educational requirement for West Virginia.

It’s the Law!

Get Safe. Get Certified.

Who Needs the Card?

All persons born on or after December 31, 1986, must complete a boater safety education course before operating a motorboat or personal watercraft (PWC) on West Virginia waters.

Age Restrictions

Those 12 to 14 years of age may operate a motorboat or personal watercraft only if:

  • They have completed a boating safety education course and
  • If they are accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older on board the vessel or the vessel's motor is 10 horsepower or less.

There is no minimum age to take the online boat safety exam.


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.”)


West Virginia law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and pleasant. Cooperate with them by following the laws and guidelines.

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.

Penalty Not carrying your Boater Education Card when one is required can result in a fine.

For details about the boater education law, who is exempt from the education requirement, which courses are approved, the Certification Exam, and the application for the Boater Education Card, visit http://www.wvdnr.gov/lenforce/boatngcert.shtm.

Quick Links

Is the Boating Card the same as a Boating License?

The West Virginia Boater Education Certificate 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 a West Virginia Boating License.

West Virginia Boater Education Certificate

How do I get my state boating license?

You may have heard that you need the West Virginia Boat License to operate your boat, but what you really need is the West Virginia Boater Education Certificate. You can get the West 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.

Approved by:

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
324 Fourth Avenue
South Charleston, WV 25303-1228
(304) 558-2754