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The boating safety course without the classroom!

The "Virginia Boat Course" is authorized by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) and recognized by the U. S. Coast Guard to satisfy boating education requirements.  

By completing this course, you will earn your Virginia Boating Safety Education Certificate (Boater Card) and be able to operate any recreational powerboat in Virginia - from Personal Watercraft (jet skis) to large motor yachts!

As soon as you complete the course, you will be able to print your certificate which allows you to boat legally, today!

We feel it is important to allow all Virginia boaters free access to our boating safety course and charge only a nominal fee to process your certificate of completion once you complete the online course. To track your progress as you study the course, you will need to create a user name and password.

Virginia law requires the online course be a minimum of 3 hours in length. Therefore, there are timers built into each page anywhere from 1 - 12 minutes and you must wait for the timer to elapse and a 'Next' arrow to appear before progressing to the next page.

There is also a 30-minute 'Session' timer on each page - if the page is left idle for 30-minutes, your session will time-out and you will have to log-in again to continue.


Terms of Use

Please sign-in to access the course material.

Please follow the instructions below.

Goals of the Course

  1. Keep you and your passengers safe on the water.
  2. Keep you in compliance with the boating laws of Virginia.
  3. Enable you to earn your official boater card.
The online course covers a wide range of information, including registration and titling, trailering, fueling, safety equipment, laws, navigation rules and how to handle emergencies.


Important: Please follow these directions:

  1. When you click on “Start the Course”  you will be asked to create a User Name and Password. Record this information! Having a unique user name enables you to track your progress within the course. Each person taking the course must use a different user name. Do not use the same user name as someone else or your information will not be recorded and you will not receive a boating safety certificate.
  2. Start the course at chapter 1, page 1 and progress through the material in sequence. There are a total of 7 chapters. Each chapter consists of written course material, a short video, a fill-in-the-blank practice quiz, and a multiple choice test. A passing score of at least 90% is required to complete the chapter and move on. If the test score is below 90%, you will be able to review the chapter material and a new test will be generated.
  3. Study at your own pace. Stop at any point. Continue by logging in again at
  4. There is no “final exam”. Successful completion of the seven multiple choice end-of-chapter tests makes you eligible to pay for your proof of completion certificate which shows proof of meeting the Virginia requirements.
  5. Once you are ready to pay for your boater certificate, fill-in your personal data (name, address, city, etc.).
  6. Make payment on our secure site with any major credit or debit card. Payment allows you to access your Virginia Boating Certificate of Completion.
  7. If, at some time in the future, you need to order a new certificate, go to, click “Manage Certificates” and login.

Your Boater Card

Upon passing this course, you will be awarded an officially accepted boater card honored by the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

The card you print after completing the coursework is all you need to legally operate a personal watercraft (PWC) (as long as you are at least 14 years of age) or powerboat (any age) in Virginia.

Optional Virginia Boater Card

You may now apply to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for a state issued boater card. The cost of the optional state issued card is $10.00, and you must include proof of completing this course along with your application to the VDGIF to receive your card.


The MINIMUM age to operate a personal watercraft is 14.

There is no minimum age requirement to operate a "traditional" powerboat in Virginia.


Type of Boat Current By July 1, 2016
Any type of boat with 10 horsepower motor (or greater) including Personal Watercraft. Operators 50 years of age and younger must have an education certificateAll operators, regardless of age, must have an education certificate

Online Users