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.
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.