Boating Laws and Regulations

New Boater Education Requirement, Effective July 1, 2014

Known as the “Kile Glover Boat Education Law,” the new law requires that anyone born on or after January 1, 1988, who operates any motorized vessel on Georgia waters must complete a boating safety education course and carry a Georgia Boater Education Card (also referred to as the Georgia Boating License).

The online Georgia Boating License satisfies this state requirement. Passing the online exam allows you to obtain the Georgia Boater Education Card and get out on the water right away!

Age Restrictions

Boaters 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 that 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 to 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.

Important Note

The online boating safety course covers a wide range of operating laws in Georgia. For a complete listing of Georgia's boat operating rules and regulations, please consult Georgia Department of Natural Resources website at www.goboatgeorgia.com/boating.

Boating License or Boater Education 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 Georgia Boating License!