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Get Your Accredited Boating License Online - State Boating License & USCG Captains License Online

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U.S. States & NASBLA Approved Boating License and USCG Approved Captain’s License Programs Online


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The requirements for obtaining a Boating License or Boater Education Card in the United States vary from state to state. Many states require boating education courses for specific age groups to operate a boat or personal watercraft. Some states require boaters to obtain a boating license or card after completing a state-approved boating safety course.

This license is a card one must carry while operating a boat, and typically for young boaters or those operating boats without adult supervision. In a few states, there may be no mandatory boating education requirement. But they still recommend everybody to take a boating safety course to enhance their knowledge and skills on the water.

The U.S. federal regulations require that you need a license if you carry six or more paying passengers. A USCG Captain's License is a certification issued by the United States Coast Guard that grants individuals the authority to operate vessels for commercial purposes or carry passengers for hire. It is a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates the holder's competency and qualifications to assume command and responsibility of a vessel.

The USCG Captain's License is not limited to a specific type or size of the vessel. It applies to various maritime operations, including commercial fishing, charter boat services, tour and excursion boats, ferry operations, and more.

We have selected two prominent Boating License online training providers for their quality of training content and ease at which you may get your licenses online - BoatTests101 for states boating license & Mariners Learning System (MLS) for USCG Captain's License.

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Boating & Captain’s License Online

USCG Captain's License Programs

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Mariners Learning System (MLS) provides U.S. Coast Guard Certified Licensing Courses with their flexible online training. The MLS content is comparable to that found in face-to-face classrooms in terms of materials covered. It surpasses classroom learning by listening to audio lectures, watching training videos, or reading companion workbook. You also have access to online instructors 24x7 or you can call toll free to the staff during normal business hours.


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U.S. States Boating License

BoatTests101 is a leading provider of boater education and safety across the United States. They provide official, government-approved boating courses and exams to obtain your boating license. All courses are approved by NASBLA, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the respective state or provincial body.

BoatTests101 State Licenses

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California Boating License: Approved by California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways - To operate a motorized vessel in California, you will be required to have a California boating card. There is no minimum age to take the course or state residency.

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District Of Columbia Boating License: Approved by District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department - Any person operating a vessel on any District of Columbia waterways is required to have taken and approved a Boating Safety Course.

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Florida Boating License: Approved by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - All boat operators in Florida who were born on or after Jan 1, 1988, must have a Florida Boater Education I.D. Card to operate any motorized watercraft of 10 HP or more. Also check Florida Rental Temporary Boating License

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Hawaii Boating License: Approved by Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources - Boaters who operate a power-driven vessel propelled by a motor greater than 10 horsepower, even vessels propelled primarily by wind/sail that is equipped with an auxiliary engine to successfully complete a boating safety course.

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Kentucky Boating License: Approved by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources - All boaters between 12 to 17 years old are required to have a Kentucky boater education card to operate a motorized vessel in Kentucky above 10 horsepower.

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Maine Boating License: Approved by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife - All boat operators 16 and 17 years of age must take and approve a safety education course before being able to operate a personal watercraft (PWC) without supervision.

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Maryland Boating License: Approved by Maryland Department of Natural Resources - All boaters born on or after July 1, 1972 are required to have a Maryland Boater Education Card to operate a a motorized vessel in Maryland

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Nevada Boating License: Approved by Nevada Department of Wildlife - All boaters born on or after January 1, 1983 are required to have a Nevada Boater Education Card before operate motorized watercraft on Nevada's interstate waters. There is no minimum age to take the course and you do not need to be a resident of the state.

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New Mexico Boating License: Approved by New Mexico State Parks - All boaters born after January 1, 1989 are required to have a New Mexico boater education card to operate any motorized watercraft. There is no minimum age to take the course and you do not need to be a resident of the state.

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New York Boating License: Approved by New York Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation - All boaters born on or after May 1, 1996 are required to complete an approved boater education course to operate a watercraft. The minimum age to take the course is 10 and you do not need to be a resident of the state.

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North Carolina Boating License: Approved by North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission - All residents born on or after January 1, 1988 must have a North Carolina Boater Education Card to operate a motorized watercraft of 10 HP or more. There is no minimum age to take the course or state residency.

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West Virginia Boating License: Approved by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources - All boaters born after December 30, 1986 are required to have a West Virginia Boater Education Card to operate a motorized watercraft. There is no minimum age to take the course and you do not need to be a resident of the state.

LAST UPDATED ON Apr 25, 2024