One of the best ways to amp up the Sea-Doo Life and get the most out of your watercraft is by taking a boater’s safety and education course. Not only is it required by many states for boaters of a certain age, it will give you added confidence to take on many new adventures on the water, and even help you save some money. Many insurance companies offer significant savings – up to 15% annually – for those who have successfully completed a state-approved boater’s education course.
What can you expect from a boater’s safety course? Most states offer online courses that are designed to be completed in as little as just a few hours. In some cases, there may be a small fee to take the course. Upon successful completion of the course and test, you can print your certification card and hit the water a safer boater all in the same day.
How to Get a Boating License
Each state determines the requirements for operating a boat or personal watercraft (PWC) on the waters in its jurisdiction, and most require some sort of boating safety and education certificate or boating license. The boating safety certificate courses are not as comprehensive as those for an automobile driver’s license; there’s usually no on-water driver’s education required, for example.
Follow these simple steps to get your boating license:
1- Research the boater education requirements for your state.
2- Complete an online, or in-person, boating safety and education course.
3- Successfully pass the boating license test at the end of the course.
4- Submit payment after course completion.
5- Keep your boat license or completion certificate with you whenever you're out on the water.
- If you buy a new boat and are a first-time boat owner, your marine dealer may be able to give you information on how to get a boating license in your area.
- Using online resources like Boat-Ed.com and BoaterExam.com, you’ll find links to the approved online boating courses available for each state along with the boating education requirements for each state.
- The online boating education or license course for most states is administered by a third party. The BoatUS Foundation offers free boating license courses for 35 states at www.boatus.org/courses/.
The online course is designed to take about three hours to complete. You’ll be issued a login so you can complete the course at your own pace. You don’t have to complete the entire course at one sitting. The course is structured into different modules or sections. After each section there is a review exam that must be completed and passed before you can move on to the next section. If you don’t pass the first time, don’t worry – you’ll have a chance to review the information and retake the review exam.
These courses are not designed to make it difficult to pass; the point is to raise awareness by presenting information on every aspect of boating. The course will cover boating basics and terminology, navigation rules, state boating regulations, how to handle boating emergencies, and how to enjoy watersports.
After you complete the course, you’ll be ready to take the exam. Once you pass your exam, it’s time to celebrate with a ride on the water.