Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Nebraska Boating Regulations & Laws

Q. What is the "Nebraska Safe Boating Certificate"?

A. The Nebraska Safe Boating Certificate (also referred to as the Nebraska boating license) is proof that a boater has taken and passed an approved boater education course.

Q. Do I have to get the Nebraska boaters license?

A. Nebraska law requires any motorboat operator (including personal watercraft) born after December 31, 1985, complete a Boating Safety Course and be in possession of a course certificate when operating the boat. You must be at least 14 years of age to operate a motorboat (including personal watercraft) in Nebraska.

Q. How do I get my Safe Boating Certificate?

A. You must successfully complete an in-class safe boating course and proctored exam. For a list of classroom courses please visit the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission online at at outdoornebraska.ne.gov/boating.

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

A. No. To meet the mandatory education requirement in Nebraska, the boating course has to have a minimum of six hours of classroom instruction, and the exam has to be a proctored, in-person exam.

Q. What is the minimum age to operate a Powered Vessel including Personal Watercraft (PWC) in Nebraska?

A. In Nebraska, no one may operate a motor powered vessel (including personal watercraft) if they are under the age of 14. Additionally, no one under the age of 16 may operate a motor powered vessel that is towing an individual.

Nebraska law requires that all motorboat operators (including personal watercraft) under 18 years of age must complete a Boating Safety Course and be in possession of a course certificate when operating the boat.

No one under the age of 18 may rent a motorized boat or personal watercraft.

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 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