Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about District of Columbia Boating Regulations & Laws

Q. What is the "District of Columbia Boating Safety Certificate"?

A. The Boating Safety Certificate (also referred to as the District of Columbia Boaters License) is proof of competency of the basic rules of the water that all boaters should know.

Q. Do I have to get the District of Columbia boaters license?

A. Yes. Boater education is a mandatory requirement for all persons who wish to operate a powered vessel on Disctrict of Columbia waters.

Q. How do I get my District of Columbia boaters license?

A. You can obtain your District of Columbia boaters license in 4 easy steps:

  1. Pay the one-time fee of $29.95 — free unlimited retries of the final exam
  2. Study the District of Columbia boating safety course manual
  3. Take the District of Columbia online boating exam
  4. Print off your Certificate of Completion immediately and receive your Boating Safety Certificate in the mail within 3-5 weeks

For a complete overview of the District of Columbia online boating exam process, please visit our District of Columbia Boating License Online Exam Process overview page.

Q. What if I don't pass the District of Columbia Boater Exam?

A. No problem. There is no cost to retry the exam if you do not pass. You will receive your score and be allowed to review any of your wrong answers. You can then review the course material and take the exam again at no cost to you.

Q. How much does the exam cost?

A. The cost of the exam is $29.95. There is no cost to get your Boating Safety Certificate which will be mailed to you home within 3-5 weeks.

Q. What payment methods are accepted?

A. We accept payments by VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, PayPal, and Prepaid vouchers.

Q. What is the "Certificate of Completion"?

A. The Certificate of Completion is a temporary proof of competency and proves that you took and passed a boater education course. The certificate can be printed immediately after completing the course and is valid for 60 days from the date of issue.

Q. When will I receive my Boating Safety Certificate in the mail?

A. Your card will arrive in 3-5 weeks from the date you take your exam.

Q. Is there a time limit to complete the final exam?

A. You can take the final exam at any time, day or night. The exam is not timed but inactive exams will be erased after 24 hours.

Q. Is there a time limit to complete the online course?

A. You can take the online course at any time, day or night. However, if it has been more than 12 months since you have started the course, you will have to restart the course from the beginning (if you already paid, you will NOT have to pay for the course again).

Q. How many questions are on the exam?

A. The exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions.

Q. What is the passing grade?

A. The passing grade is 80%, or 48 correct answers out of 60 questions.

Q. What are the technical requirements for the online boater exam?

  Minimum Recommended
Browser Internet Explorer 9.0
Firefox 2.0
Chrome 3.0
Safari 2.0
Opera 9.0
Latest versions of Chrome,
Firefox, or Internet Explorer
Operating System Windows XP or
Mac OS 9
Windows 7 or
Mac OS X
Screen Resolution 1024x768
Internet Connection dial-up high-speed