Do You Need a License to Drive a Boat?

Do You Need a License to Drive a Boat?

by Sam Owens on November 14, 2017

Well, maybe… Very few states require an endorsement on your driver’s license but almost all require the boat operator to complete a boater’s safety course.  Conditions are based on age, type of boat and other factors. 

But the real question is would you operate a boat without proper training?  When you learned to drive a car or motorcycle you were required to take a written and practical test before jumping behind the wheel.  Maybe a family member owned a boat and offered advice on boat handling, but did you really get all the rules.  Boats don’t have turn signals or roadways that give you a hint where they may be going.  If your car gets a flat tire you pull to the side of the road.  If your boat engine stops you have no control over where you will go.  Do you remember the challenge of parallel parking?  Try docking a boat!

Don’t ruin a great day on the water with a ticket from the local police for operating in an unsafe manner.  Boater’s courses are offered online and in-classroom with costs varying from as little as free to $50.

Remember most insurance companies offer discounts for safety course completion.

To help you get started, Boatdipity offers free pdf versions of the boater’s handbook for each state.  Reach out to us at this email and let us know which STATE you need.