Boating Safety Course

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Boating license requirements in Oregon

On any devices
  • All boaters who operate a motorboat with over 10 horsepower (hp) and youths:

  • Must be 12 or older to get a boating education card.

  • Youths ages 11 and under are not allowed to operate a motorboat.

  • Youths 12-15 years old operating a motorboat of any size.

    • They can operate a boat of more than 10 hp if accompanied by a person 16 or older (18 or older for personal watercraft) who has a boating education card.

    • They can operate a boat of 10 hp or less without an adult. 

  • A person 16 or older will need a boating education card to operate a powerboat (including a PWC) greater than 10 hp.

Oregon boating laws & regulations

Oregon law requires one USCG approved PFD for every person abord the watercraft.

All children 12 years or younger must wear a USCG approved PFD while onboard a vessel.

Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is a crime in Oregon

By operating a boat in Oregon, you have given consent to submit to field
sobriety and breath tests.

The law applies to all boats, motorized and non-motorized, which includes rafts, kayaks, and canoes.

A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% is considered legally “under the influence.”

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FAQ - Boating in Oregon

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

All boaters who operate a motorboat with over 10 horsepower are required to complete a boating education course.

Who is exempt from the Oregon boating license ?

There are a few exemptions for the boater education card. Age is not an exemption. 

  • 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. 

  • 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 Renters: Renters will be exempt, but must complete a watercraft rental safety checklist.
What are the age restrictions regarding boating safety in Oregon?

Youths must be at least 12 years or older to get a boating education card.

Youths ages 11 and under are not legally allowed to operate a motorboat.

Do I need to register my boat in Oregon?

The OR State Marine Board requires ALL motorized vessels AND sailboats 12 ft and longer to be titled AND registered.

You do NOT need to title and register:

  • Watercraft owned by the U.S. government (including documented vessels).

  • Boats from another country used temporarily on Oregon state waters.

  • Ships' lifeboats.

  • Vessels registered in another state not used on OR waters for more than 60 days consecutively.

  • Non-motorized watercraft, like:

    • Canoes.

    • Kayaks.

    • Rowboats.

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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