Getting a Mandatory Boater Education Card

If you are boating in Washington, you must have a Washington State Boater Education Card with you when operating a boat 15 horsepower or greater.

If you were born before January 1, 1955, you are exempt.

Read more details about exemptions.

Washington State Boater Education Card

To get a card:

  • Take an approved boater education course
    • Classroom Courses
    • Equivalency Exam – If you are an experienced boater and have a good working knowledge of navigation rules and Washington laws, you may opt to take an equivalency exam with no reference material.
    • Hands-on Training Courses – The on-the-water boat handling skills are designed to make you comfortable, knowledgeable, and safe. See a list of organizations that offer boating education with classroom and hands-on training.
    • Home Study Course – This course consists of a study guide and exam booklet. The course offers the basics of safe boating and covers important laws.
    • Online Courses – Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has a list of approved online courses offered by private companies. Some are free and others have a fee.
  • After taking the boater education course, submit the Boater Education Card Application to the State Parks, along with $10 and a legal copy of your proof of course completion.