Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Massachusetts Boating Safety Certificate?

A. The Boating Safety Certificate is proof of successfully completing an approved 10-12 hour Massachusetts boating safety classroom-based course. The certificate must be carried at all times when operating a powered watercraft, and available for inspection when requested by a law enforcement officer.

Q. Who needs the certificate?

A. Youth between 12 and 15 years of age must complete an approved classroom-based basic boating course in order to operate a motorized boat without adult supervision. Personal watercraft (PWC) users who are 16 or 17 years of age must also complete such a boating course to operate on Massachusetts waters.

Q. Can I take an online course to get my certification?

A. No. Only certificates issued upon completion of a state-approved classroom-based boating safety course are accepted as proof of course completion for certification.

Q. How do I get my Massachusetts Boating Safety Certificate?

A. You must successfully complete a state approved 10-12 hour classroom-based boating safety course. To find a classroom course in areas of Massachusetts, visit www.mass.gov.

Q. What are the age requirements to operate a motorized boat in Massachusetts?

A. No person under 12 years of age may operate a motorized boat, unless accompanied on board and directly supervised by a competent person 18 years of age or older.

Q. What are the age requirements to operate a personal watercraft (PWC)?

A. Youth under the age of 16 are not allowed to operate a personal watercraft under any circumstances.

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 can I prepare for the classroom-based boating safety certification course?

A. BOATERexam.com offers a free online study guide which covers all of the boating safety basics and state-specific information for Massachusetts that you will learn in your classroom course. You can also test your knowledge of the information with our optional practice quizzes at the end of each chapter. The study guide and practice quizzes can be accessed anytime and you can log in and out to review the study guide at your own pace.

Q. What are the technical requirements for the BOATERexam.com online study guide?

  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