Frequently Asked Boating Education Questions

Q. Who has to take a boating course?

Persons born on or after January 1, 1983 will need to have completed a boating education course to operate a motorboat of more than 15 horsepower on Nevada's interstate waters.

Q. What are "interstate waters"?

These waters are bordered by more than one state and include Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, Topaz Lake, Lake Tahoe and sections of the Colorado River System.

Q.How does this affect the existing requirement for operators of personal watercraft to have boating safety certificates?

PWC's are treated no differently than any other boat. One other new regulation does affect PWC operators, starting January 1 persons must be at least 14 years of age to operate these craft.

Q.Who is exempt from the boating education requirements?

Residents of other states that are at least 18 years of age and meet the requirements of their states are exempt from this requirement. In addition, boats operating on any other waterway in Nevada that are not interstate waterways are exempt. Anyone operating a boat of less than 15 horsepower is also exempt.

Q.What about rental boats?

The signed rental agreement does count as meeting the requirement. Boaters are required to sign that they have received instruction, and this signed rental agreement serves as the proof.

Q.Where can I get a boating course?

Any course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is considered as meeting the requirement.

Persons may get instruction from any number of boating organizations including the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons or the State Division of Wildlife.

In addition, boaters may request a correspondence course from the Nevada Department of Wildlife, or they can take the course online. View Class Options

The Nevada boater card or any card from an approved course will be considered proof of having completed the course requirement.

Q.What are the fees for boating safety cards and when do they take effect?

NDOW boater education cards are free, as are duplicates. The correspondence course is free, but the online Boat Nevada course does cost $15.

Individual organizations that offer these classes are allowed to charge reasonable fees, and those fees vary.

Q.I already have taken a boating course and earned a boating safety education certificate. Do I need to get a new certificate?

No. Certificates issued prior to the effective date of this legislation remain valid for the holders' lifetimes.