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Do I need a boating license in Florida?

Mandatory Boater Education

You are required to have a Florida boater education identification card if you were born on or after January 1, 1988 and want to operate a vessel of 10 horsepower or more. You must also carry photographic identification.

In order to qualify for the Florida Boating Safety Education ID card you must pass an approved FWC and NASBLA course.

You are exempt from this rule if you are:

  • 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 safety course or equivalency examination from another state
  • A person who is operating a vessel within 90 days of the purchase of that vessel and has bill of sale on board meeting the requirements as established in Chapter 328.46(1), Florida Statutes.
  • A person operating a vessel within 90 days of completing an approved boating safety course, as required in Section 327.395(1). To be exempt you must carry photographic ID and a certificate proving successful completion of an approved boating safety education course. To be considered valid, the course completion certificate must include your first and last names, your date of birth and the date that you completed the course.
  • Accompanied by a person at least 18 years old who possesses the required boating safety education card or is exempt from the required boating education card and who is responsible for the safe operation of the vessel and any violation that occurs.

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