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California Boaters Can Now Take Free Boating Safety Course

BoatUS Foundation online boating safety course approved by California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways

California boaters have an easy and convenient way to meet the state's new boating safety education requirement thanks to the BoatUS Foundation.
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SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 12, 2017 – A new law says California boaters will need to go to school, and the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety has the right course to fit their schedule and budget.

Starting January 1, 2018, Golden State boaters ages 20 or younger who operate a motorized vessel on state waterways will need to have a boater safety card showing successful completion of a boater safety education course. Each year thereafter on January 1, more age groups will be added to the requirement so that by 2025 all California boaters will need to carry a boater card issued by California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW).

The easiest and most affordable way to meet the requirement is to take the BoatUS Foundation’s free online Boating Safety Course – now approved by DBW – which allows boaters to take the course in the comfort of their own home. Once successfully completed, the course does not expire so boaters of all ages don’t need to delay and can complete their boating safety education now.

“We’ve loaded the course with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating,” said BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston. “The best part of all is that our course is free and can be taken at home. It’s designed so that you can stop and then continue at any time,” added Edmonston.

Upon finishing the course, boaters can print their own certificate of completion, and beginning in 2018, the state will begin to issue official California Boater Education Cards to students who have completed the course between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017.

The course and exam is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and recognized by the US Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.

To take the course, go to For more information about California boater education, go to


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About the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water:

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by donations from the more than half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nonprofit provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. A range of boating safety courses – including 34 free state courses – can be found at