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Why is boating safety important?

No matter how much experience you have, it is important to know boater safety, etiquette and the rules of the water. BoatTests101.com is an accredited provider of boater education in the United States by NASBLA, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Our goal is accredit and develop educated boaters to improve boater safety for all.

Boating Accidents in the USA

Boating Accidents in the USA

percentage of very experienced boaters (no training)

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Is it called a boating license, boater education card or boater education certificate?

In the US, while it is often called a boating license, the correct terminology is “boater education certificate”. The boating education certificate is the boating education card, and is thus interchangeable. This boater education certificate or boater education card is proof that you have successfully passed an accredited boater safety course and can operate a boat in the respective state or territory waterways. In Canada, the boater education card is called the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC).


Who is required to have a boater education certificate or boater education card?

Boater education certificates or boater education cards are mandatory in 45+ US states and every province in Canada, with an increasing trend towards making it mandatory over the last decade. A person can receive their boater education certificate by taking an accredited boater safety course.


Is there a penalty for operating a boat without a boater education certificate or boater education card in states, provinces or territories where it is mandatory?

Yes, there are penalties for operating without a boater education certificate or boater education card in every state, province and territory where it is mandatory. Penalties increase significantly with repeated convictions. Avoid all of this by taking a boater safety course for your own safety, the safety of passengers, and the safety of others.


What is an accredited boater safety course?

An accredited boater safety course is an educational program designed to help a person operate a recreational boat safely. The online course consists of chapters, chapter quizzes and an exam at the end of the course. The administration of boating courses is the responsibility of US state governments and the Canadian government. In the US, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) was formed, of which all courses must be approved and accredited by, along with approval by each respective US state. In Canada, all courses must be approved by Transport Canada.


Boater safety courses save lives!

The core mission behind every accredited boater education course is to improve boater safety and save lives. The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) was specifically formed to develop public policy for recreational boating safety, and represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the US territories. In Canada, this same function is fulfilled by Transport Canada. BoatTests101 US online boater safety courses are approved by NASBLA, are recognized by US Coast Guard, and approved by respective states in which we operate. Boater safety is a concern for everyone on the water. We strive to improve boater safety. Join us to learn about responsible boating operations, boater etiquette and the rules of the water.


Boating Safety Tips

No matter how much boating experience you have, it is always a good idea for every boater and its passengers to know boating rules before you leave the dock for your trip. Below are common boater safety tips:

  • Take a boater safety course to get your Boater Education Certificate or Boater Education Card in the United States and the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) in Canada
  • Consider a free vessel safety check. This is provided for free in the US by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and US Power Squadrons and in Canada by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron (CPS-ECP) in partnership with The Office of Boating Safety
  • Use common sense
  • Wear a proper life jacket
  • Learn to swim
  • Check the weather beforehand
  • Do not mix alcohol or drugs with boating
  • Do not overload the boat with passengers or equipment
  • Follow proper anchoring techniques
  • Follow proper docking techniques

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