Virginia Boating Safety Education Classroom Course


This course is recommended for motivated students 12 years of age and older with good reading and comprehension skills who want to learn more about the fundamentals of safe and responsible boating. Course materials are on a 6th grade reading level.

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A typical Boater Education Course lasts 6-8 hours with exam time depending on the class location and instructor.

Who Needs Boater Education?

In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law to establish a boating safety education compliance requirement. This requirement has been phased in over the past several years; and by July 1, 2016, all operators (regardless of age) of PWCs (personal watercraft such as jet skis, Sea Doos, and Wave Runners) and operators (regardless of age) of motorboats with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater will be required to have a boating safety education course completion card on board when operating a PWC or motorboat.

This course will enable you to become a safe boater who:

  • boats safely
  • respects other boaters
  • obeys the law
  • understands boating laws

Topics covered include:

  • boating operations
  • safe boating practices
  • navigation signs
  • boating responsibilities

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NOTICE: In an effort to protect public health and reduce overall spread of COVID-19, we have postponed all in-person Boater Education classes until further notice. If you require certification, please take our online-only course at

November 2020

February 2021

May 2021