What is a permanent Boater Education Card?
All boaters who operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower and youths 12-15 operating a power boat of any size are required to take an approved boating safety course and apply/carry a boater education card.
Youth must be 12 or older to get a boater education card. Youth ages 11 and under cannot operate a motor boat.
Youth 12-15 can operate a boat of 10 hp or less without an adult.
Youth 12-15 may operate a boat of more than 10 hp if accompanied by an adult 16 or older (18 or older for a personal watercraft) who has a boater education card.
A person 16 or older will need a boater education card to operate a powerboat (including a PWC) greater than 10 hp.
What types of courses are available?
To comply with the Mandatory Education Requirement, boaters have the following course options:
Equivalency Exam: This proctored exam is designed for the experienced boater who knows the rules and regulations for safe boating in Oregon waters. Not only does the experienced boater need to know about power boating, but will need basic knowledge about personal watercraft and sailboats. It is recommended that even experienced boaters request the publication, "Boat Oregon-A Course on Responsible Boating" and study it before scheduling an appointment to take the exam. Click here for more information on test locations and times.
Other Course Options: NW Power Boating School offers a customized, private, "Hands-On" safety and skills training, using your boat and on the waterbody of your choice. Contact Captain Bob Kelso at 503-864-2584 for more information. Other private classes may be offered locally and at various fees.
How do I apply for a card?
Who is exempt from having an Education Card?
There are a few exemptions for the boater education card. Age is not an exemption.
Out-of-state and foreign visitors: If they will be boating in Oregon for less than 60 days or hold a boater education card from another state.
Boaters with a current Coast Guard Boat Operator License: Boaters such as guides and barge operators who hold a current Coast Guard Boat Operator License are exempt from the requirement.
Commercial Fisherman: Boaters who hold a current commercial fishing license do not have to carry a boater education card when operating recreationally but do need to carry their commercial license or documentation. (ORS 830.092(2))
Non-certified, supervised adults: The law allows a non-certified adult to operate a power boat IF under direct supervision of an adult 16 or older who is carrying a boater education card. If operating a PWC, the card holding adult must be 18 or older.
Boat Buyers: Buyers with a temporary certificate of number are exempt, for up to 60 days.
Boat Renters: Renters will be exempt, but must complete a watercraft rental safety checklist.