As of this year, state law requires boat operators age 40 and younger to carry a Washington State Boater Education card. The card is needed whenever operating motorboats with 15 horsepower or more, including personal watercraft or any motorized watercraft.
To get a card, boaters must take a course that is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
Approved boater education courses can be taken in the classroom, classroom/hands-on, online or at home.
Once a course is successfully completed, the boater must submit a completed boater education card application, along with $10 and a legal copy of proof of course completion.
If a boater does not have a card, the fine is $87.
Known as the mandatory boater safety education law, it went into effect Jan. 1, 2008.
In 2013, boaters age 50 and younger will be required to have a card. In 2014, it will be people 59 and younger who must have a card. After 2014, all boat operators, unless exempted by law, must have a card.
Learn more at boat.wa.gov/safety-ed.asp.