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Boating License: The Requirements of Getting One in the US

Dec 7, 2022

Before we get to the paperwork that’s required before you acquire a boating license, let’s make one detail clear; boating licenses differ from state to state.

In some states, an official boating safety education certification is referred to as a boating license; these licenses don’t have to be renewed – ever. However, in other states, your age, the type of boat you operate and other factors go into determining whether you should get a license. Some states don’t even have a requirement!

The best thing to do in this situation is to find out what your specific state’s needs are.

Taking Your Pleasure Boat on a Cruise

Let’s say you don’t require a boat license in your state, and you need to travel via boat to another state. You’d think that since you don’t need a license in your own state, there’s no need to get a license in the other state, right?

However, given that many states now have different established licensing regulations for boat ownership and registration, you might need to ask before you take your trip, otherwise it might be confiscated.

What if I Need to Take a Course?

Boating license courses aren’t so difficult if you pick the right one. If you do need to take a course for certification, you’ll need to look for a course that has been approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators or NASBLA.

Finding the Right Option for an Online Course

As a one-time requirement, you need to make sure you’re gaining this education from a reliable source. Programs such as Boater’s Academy, which offer NASBLA and Coast Guard-recognized boating safety courses online, are the best choice.

Boating license

With their course, you’ll not only learn basic operations, but you’ll also get a full course on boat safety and regulations to follow. In short, the complete safety course will familiarize you with everything you need to know about boating and sailing on the waterways.


If your state requires you to get a certificate on boating safety, go to Boater’s Academy and start learning. You’ll be ready to sail the free seas in no time!