Get your IOWA Boating License Online with Boater Exam®

Who needs to take the Iowa boaters safety course?

All boaters between the ages of 12 and 18 must have an Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate to operate any motorized watercraft over 10 HP.® is a delegated provider for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate
Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Approved by the

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Watercraft Safety Certificate is good for life

Good for life!

Get your official
Iowa Boating License

Complete the Iowa Boaters Safety Course in
4 Easy Steps

Take your BOATERexam® course and be certified for life!

Step 1

est. 2–3 mins

Sign Up

Sign up for a Boaterexam® account, pay for the official course, and get started. It only takes a few minutes.

Step 2

est. 3–4 hrs

Study & Pass the Online Course

Take the course on desktop, tablet or mobile. We automatically save your progress so you can learn at your own pace.

Step 3

est. 1–5 mins

Print Your Temp Card Immediately

Pass the online exam and print your temporary boating license immediately.

Step 4

est. 0 mins

Go Boating!

Hit the water! You're all set to legally operate a boat.

Over 2,000,000 boating students certified and counting: has a TrustPilot rating of 4.7 out of 5 based on 17707 ratings and reviews.

Mobile Optimized

Boating safety course on an iPad and iPhone

Study on Any Device

From laptop to mobile phone to tablet, choose when and where to take your boating course and get your Iowa Boating Card.

Visual Exam Questions

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Visual Exam Questions Help You Learn

We found out a long time ago that people learn best when they can see what they're learning. Shouldn't you be tested the same way? Every one of our exam questions is illustrated to help you get your boating licence.

Engaging Videos

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Hundreds of Engaging Videos

Our Iowa boating license course features hundreds of rich engaging boating videos and animations. That means you aren't just reading: You're watching, listening and learning.

Iowa Approved Boating License & Safety Course

Map of the United States® is trusted by agencies across the United States to deliver the best of quality in boater safety. Our courses consistently receive the highest level of approval from agencies and from boaters.

This official Iowa boating safety course is approved by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources logo

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0034

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FAQs about getting a Iowa Boating License

Below are some common questions about safe boating rules & regulations.


How much does the boat safety course cost?


There is a one-time fee of $39.95 + $5.00 state fee paid to®. It includes unlimited attempts at the final exam. The $5.00 state fee—collected after you pass the final exam—is for the state-issued Watercraft Safety Certificate.


What payment methods are accepted?


We accept payments by VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, PayPal, and Prepaid vouchers.


What is the "Certificate of Completion"?


The Certificate of Completion is a temporary proof of competency and proves that you took a boater education course and passed.


What is the Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate?


Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate (also known as the Iowa boating license or boaters license) is proof that you have met the mandatory boat safety education requirements for the State of Iowa. 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.


I do not have a driver's license. Can I still get the Iowa boater license?


Yes. You are not required to have a state driver's license in order to obtain a Watercraft Safety Certificate.


How can I get my Iowa boating license?


You can obtain your Iowa boater license in 4 easy steps:

  1. Pay the one-time fee of $39.95 – free unlimited retries of the final exam
  2. Study the Iowa Boaters Safety Course, and pass the final exam
  3. Pay the $5.00 state fee for the card only after you pass
  4. Print off your Certificate of Completion immediately, and receive your permanent Iowa Watercraft Safety Certificate in the mail within 8-10 business days

This official Iowa boaters safety course is approved by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.


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


The boater license is good for life.


Is anyone exempt from obtaining the Iowa boating license?


Check out the Iowa Boating Laws page to see if there are any exemptions from the boat safety education requirement.


Is there a time limit to complete the online course?


You can take the online course at any time, day or night. However, courses must be completed within 90 days of payment at which time your access to the course will expire.


How many questions are on the exam?


The exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions.


What is the passing grade?


The passing grade is 80%, or 60 correct answers out of 75 questions.
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