Boating Laws and Regulations

Colorado Boating Safety Education Requirements

The Colorado Boating Safety Certificate (often referred to as the Colorado boating license) is proof that a boater has taken and passed an approved boater education course. The certificate is required for all persons 14 and 15 years of age who wish to operate motorboats. The Colorado Boating Safety Certificate serves as proof that a boater has taken and passed an approved boater education course in a classroom setting.

If you are 14 or 15 years of age and wish to operate a motorboat you are required to successfully complete a proctored exam in a classroom setting. Please use the free boating safety course material available on this website to prepare for your classroom course.

For all others boaters, you can take your boating safety exam directly on the Internet. Once you pass the exam your boater education card is mailed to your home. In the meantime, you can print off a temporary certificate that can be used until your permanent boater education card arrives.

Age Restrictions

  • Persons who are 14 or 15 years old may only operate a vessel if they have successfully completed a boating safety course that is approved by the Colorado Boating Law Administrator or have in their possession a boating safety certificate issued by an approved course provider.
  • Children under the age of 13 must wear an approved lifejacket while onboard a vessel that is underway.

Important Note

The online boating safety course covers a wide range of operating laws in Colorado. For a complete listing of Colorado's boat operating rules and regulations, please consult Colorado State Parks' website at www.parks.state.co.us

Boating License or Boater Safety Education ID Card... is there a difference?

The boater education card is proof that you have successfully completed a boating safety course. The boater education card does not expire and does not need to be renewed. Therefore, it is NOT a Colorado Boating License!