Boating Safety Course

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Boating education safety requirements Georgia

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Georgia requires that anyone born on or after January 1, 1998, who operates any motorized vessel on the waters of the state must complete a boater education course.

Become a safe boater

The purpose of boating safety course is to develop knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to become safe, responsible boaters.

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FAQ - Boating in Georgia

Who is required to take the boating safety course in Georgia?

As of July 1, 2014, all persons born on or after January 1, 1998 that operate any motorized vessel on the waters of the state must have completed a boat education course approved by the department prior to such operation.

Who is exempt from the Georgia boating license ?

A person is exempt if he or she is:

  • a person licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a master of a vessel;

  • a person operating on a private lake or pond;

  • a non-resident who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a NASBLA approved boater education course or equivalency examination from another state.

What are the age restrictions regarding boating safety in Maine?

There are three categories of people who can operate a boat in Georgia: those less than 12 years of age, those 12 through 15 years of age, and those 16 years or older.

Those less than 12 years of age

  • May not operate any vessel over 16 feet in length.

  • May legally operate a vessel under 16 feet in length which is either non-motorized or powered by a motor of 30 horsepower or less only if they are accompanied by a competent adult.

Those 12 through 15 years of age

  • May legally operate any vessel less than 16 feet in length, including a PWC only if they:

    - Have passed a boat education course approved by the Department of Natural Resources, OR

    - Are accompanied by a competent adult

  • May not legally operate any vessel over 16 feet in length.

Those 16 years of age or older

  • May operate any boat on the waters of Georgia if they have proper identification onboard

  • All operators born after January 1, 1998 must have passed a boater education course approved by the Department of Natural Resources and have card on board to operate any vessel.

"Competent Adult" means a person of age 18 or older who is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and who is carrying proper identification.

"Proper Identification" means a drivers license (or legible copy) or any other government issued identification that contains a description of the person, a photograph, and birth date.

Do I need to register my boat in Georgia?

All mechanically-propelled vessels and any sailboats more than 12 feet in length used on Georgia waters must be registered with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Is my boating license good in other States?

Every U.S. state that demands a boating license will accept Boating Education Licenses from other states that conform to NASBLA requirements as well.

You should follow your safety course in the State where you are resident.

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