Boater education classes are now online

An online boating safety class is available to help residents obtain the Washington boater education card.

An online boating safety class is available to help residents obtain the Washington boater education card.

Washington is the latest state to launch the new interactive boater education course as an online option to obtain the Washington boater education card (often mistakenly referred to as a ‘boating license’). Now, Washington residents will have access to an animated and narrated course that they can take online when it is convenient for them. This boating education course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard, and covers 100 percent of the state’s exam requirements. course participants learn about boat classifications, hull designs, motors, legal requirements for registration and equipment, navigation rules, basic safety regulations and waterway marking systems all in a narrative fashion with more than 300 original illustrations and 150 animated video clips. Each of the course’s seven chapters is followed by chapter summaries and practice quizzes. Students also have access to’s industry exclusive toll-free customer service help line. The Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission is gradually phasing in the mandatory boater education requirement that has been law since 2005. In 2009, all boaters 25 years and younger operating any powerboat greater than 15 horsepower are required to have the Washington state boater education card on board when the vessel is underway to satisfy the Washington state boating regulations. A new block of boaters will be added each year until 2015, when all boaters who are not exempt will be required to have the boater education card.

The course and final exam is free: students pay a one-time fee of $29.95 only when they pass the final exam to obtain their official results. Students can also purchase their Washington boater education card for $10, and BoaterExam will collect the fee and send the student data to Washington State Parks. Once students pass the Boater Exam, a temporary certificate is issued and the official Washington boater education card arrives by mail in two to three weeks. The card is good for life and never needs to be renewed.

Passing a boater education course may also result in a discount for boat or personal watercraft insurance. For complete Washington boating regulations or more information on the new BoaterExam Washington course, visit

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