Who is exempt from having a Boater Safety Education Card?
Exemptions are listed in RCW 79A.60.640. The following people are exempt from carrying a card:
  • People born before 1/1/1955 do not need a card.
  • Operators of commercial fishing boats must have a valid commercial license or Boating Safety Education Card when operating a recreational vessel.
  • Operators with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) marine operator license must have valid USCG operator license or Boating Safety Education Card when operating a recreational vessel.
  • Operators of exempt vessels must have Boating Safety Education Card when operating a recreational vessel.
  • Operators of rented, leased, or chartered vessels must have a copy of the Commission-approved educational checklist in lieu of Boating Safety Education Card when operating a livery vessel.
  • An operator who is a resident of another state or country does not need a card for the first 60 consecutive days. After the 60 days, they must have a Washington Boater Education Card.
  • An operator who is a resident of another state or country who has a valid card from that state or country does not need a card for first 60 consecutive days. After the 60 days they must have a Washington Boater Education Card.
  • For a person purchasing a vessel the bill of sale showing date of purchase is valid in lieu of a Washington Boating Education Card for the first 60 days after purchasing a vessel.
  • A person not yet required to have a card does not need a card until date of phasing in.

Boater Education

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1. Am I required to carry a Boater Education Card to operate all types of boats?
2. Who is exempt from having a Boater Safety Education Card?
3. When will I be required to have my Washington Boater Education Card in my possession when operating a boat?
4. Do I have to wait to get my Boater Education Card until the year it is required?
5. What do I need to do to qualify for a Boater Education Card?
6. How much does a Boater Education Card cost?
7. How can I get my Boater Education Card?
8. When will I receive my Boater Education Card?
9. Do I have to wait six weeks before I can operate a motorboat?
10. Is the Boater Education Card a license?
11. Is there a fine for not having a Boater Education Card in my possession when operating a motorboat?
12. Is my Boater Education Card good in other states and Canada that have mandatory boating education requirements?
13. Is an Oregon Boater Education Card valid in Washington?
14. Is there any reason to get a Boater Education Card if I am not required?
15. What do I do if my Boater Education Card is lost or damaged?
16. What is the history of the Boating Safety Education Bill?