Boating Laws and Regulations

South Carolina Boating Safety Education Requirements

All boaters under 16 years of age are required to carry the South Carolina Boating License on board to satisfy state boating regulations while operating on South Carolina's waters.

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

Age Restrictions

  • In South Carolina boaters under the age of 16 must complete a boating safety course in order to operate a motorized vessel. Further, an adult must be present on the vessel while anyone under the age of 16 years is operating a vessel, if the vessel has a motor of 15 hp or greater. The same restrictions apply to Personal Watercraft (PWC).
  • All boaters or passengers 12 years of age and younger on the deck or cockpit of any vessel under 16 feet in length must be wearing their PFD while the vessel is underway.

Important Note

The online boating safety course covers a wide range of operating laws in South Carolina. For a complete listing of South Carolina's boat operating rules and regulations, please consult South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website at www.dnr.sc.gov

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 South Carolina Boating License!