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State Boater Education Requirements

Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

From the 2015 Recreational Boating Safety Statistics – “Where instruction was known, 71 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction. Only 15 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate.”

The requirement to have boating safety education varies by state. Currently 50 of the 56 states and territories have mandatory education laws. There is often more than one way to satisfy a states’ boating safety education requirement.

While requirements indicating WHO is required to complete a boater education course may vary, national content of the required course for powerboat operators is based on a single American National Standard: ANSI/NASBLA 103-2016: Basic Boating Knowledge – Power which is added to state-specific information.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators has compiled information on state mandatory boater education laws. For additional information, please contact the local state boating agency.

More Information

NASBLA-Approved Boating Courses by State

Federal and State Point-of-Contacts

State-By-State Boater Education Requirements



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