California may soon require boater education

Published on September 1st, 2014

Legislation is headed to the California Governor’s desk that will require boaters operating motorized vessels in the state to complete a boater education course and carry an operator card. BoatU.S. has been working with the Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) to help guide and shape the development of this legislation over the last several years.

Some key points:

This requirement will be a phased in by age:
Starting January 1, 2018, boat operators < 20 years old January 1, 2019, boat operators <25 years old January 1, 2020, boat operators <35 years old January 1, 2021, boat operators <40 years old January 1, 2022, boat operators <45 years old January 1, 2023, boat operators <50 years old January 1, 2024, boat operators <60 years old January 1, 2025, all boater operators regardless of age The state has not yet developed the system for getting cards to boaters. However, we anticipate that taking either a classroom or online course, like the free BoatU.S. Foundation boating safety course, will be satisfactory ways to qualify for the state card.

Holders of U.S. Coast Guard marine operators licenses, out of state boaters and renters are exempt.

California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) may charge a fee for the operator card, not to exceed $30. BoatU.S. and RBOC have been and will continue to be engaged in this process to ensure the fee is reasonable. As a point of reference, Oregon currently charges $10 to issue its state boater education card.

Currently, 45 other states require some form of boater education.

You can review California Senate Bill 941 by clicking here.

RBOC and BoatU.S. support this legislation and are committed to ensuring its requirements are realistic for California boaters.

If you’d like to share your own views on the legislation with Governor Brown click here to use the BoatU.S. email system.

Source: BoatU.S.

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