Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate?

A. The Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate (also known as the Iowa Boating License or boaters license) is proof that you have taken and passed a boating safety course approved by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. All boaters in Iowa between the ages of 12 and 18 are required to carry a valid watercraft safety certificate when operating on state waters. The Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate is good for life and does not need to be renewed.

Q. Boating License or Watercraft Safety there a difference?

A.The watercraft safety certificate is proof that you have successfully completed a boating safety course. The certificate does not expire and does not need to be renewed. Therefore, it is NOT an Iowa Boating License although that's what most people call it since they are used to the term.

Q. I do not have a driver's license. Can I still get the Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate?

A. Yes. You are not required to have a state driver's license in order to obtain a boater education card.

Q. How can I get my Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate?

A. You can obtain your Iowa boating license in 4 easy steps:

  1. Pay the one-time fee of $29.95 — free unlimited retries of the final exam
  2. Study the Iowa Boating Safety Course and pass the final exam
  3. Pay the $10 state fee for the card only after you pass
  4. Print off your temporary card and receive your permanent card in the mail within 3-5 weeks

Q. Who needs an Iowa boater license?

A. A watercraft safety certificate is required for all operators between 12 and 18 years of age who wish to operate a powered vessel on Iowa's waters. For more information please consult the Iowa boating laws and regulations page.

Q. How long is the boat safety course and boater license good for?

A. The boater license is good for life.

Q. How much does the boat safety course cost?

A.There is a one-time fee of $29.95 + a $5 state fee paid to®. It includes unlimited attempts at the final exam. There is also an additional $5 fee—collected after you pass the final exam—for the state issued boater education card. Your card will be mailed to your home within 4-6 weeks. Learn more about's Risk-Free Policy.® also offers some tips and tricks on passing the boating license test for those who wish to further prepare for their 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.What do I need to pass the boating license test?

A. You need a grade of 80% or higher on the boating license test to pass. That means 60 correct answers out of 75.

Q. Can I review my Boater Exam answers?

A. Yes, once you have completed the boating license test and submitted all your answers they are graded immediately. You have the opportunity to review all your Boater Exam answers, whether you have passed or failed the Boater Exam.

Q. Are there Boater Exam practice tests or sample boater exam questions available?

A. Throughout the boat safety course, you can take end-of-chapter-quizzes that prepare you for the final exam. These chapter quizzes are short boater exam practice tests that cover the same topics that are present in the boating license test.

Q. What are the technical requirements for the online boating safety course and boating license test?

  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® Risk Free Policy

Our Risk Free Policy is designed so you can feel confident about choosing® to get your Alabama Boater Card. We offer two simple money-back guarantees:

1. You will pass the course

Over 98% of our students pass the final exam on the first try! If, however, you don't pass the final exam, just give us a call and we'll issue a full refund.

2. You will be satisfied with your® experience

97% of our students recommend the online course to others. Our course is the best in the industry and we stand behind that promise. If we don't meet your expectations, call us for a full refund.

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