FAQ California

California does not require the installation of a ‘kill switch’ on a PWC. However, if you own any boat or PWC that is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard, the state of California does require you to use the lanyard by attaching the safety device to yourself, to your clothing, or life jacket, as appropriate for the type of boat you’re operating.

Posted By
December 17, 2015


#Categories: FAQ California

It depends on your age. From 2018 to 2025, the state is phasing in mandatory boater education based on operator age, requiring boaters to have a boating license, similar to how a driver’s license is required to legally operate a car on the road. These new regulations will apply to anyone operating a motorized vessel on California waterways (including powered sailboats and paddlecraft). Beginning January 1, 2018, the mandatory education law for boaters in California applies to persons aged 20 and under. Here is the full list of dates by which boating licenses will be required:

  • Everyone 20 years old and under – Jan 1, 2018
  • Everyone 25 years old and under – Jan 1, 2019
  • Everyone 35 years old and under – Jan 1, 2020
  • Everyone 40 years old and under – Jan 1, 2021
  • Everyone 45 years old and under – Jan 1, 2022
  • Everyone 50 years old and under – Jan 1, 2023
  • Everyone 60 years old and under – Jan 1, 2024
  • Everyone regardless of age – Jan 1, 2025

There are additional benefits to being a BOATsmart! cardholder – once you’ve obtained the card, it will be good for life, it will keep you legal when boating in other states, and you’ll even save money on your boat insurance. Get your California Boater Card now and be prepared for the change!

Yes! The BOATsmart! Card is accepted in 40 states, which extend reciprocity. This means the BOATsmart! Course  meets the National Standards established by NASBLA. This law applies to operators of motorized boats, but not in all states to operators of personal watercraft (PWCs). Always check the boating laws in the state you plan to visit prior to operating a boat or PWC there.

Posted By
December 17, 2015


#Categories: FAQ California

No. The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) requires California boaters to complete the full 3-hour online study guide in order to access the online version of the Boater Education Test. However, you don’t have to complete the entire Study Guide in one sitting. BOATsmart! will automatically track and save your progress. Once you’ve completed all modules and quizzes you’ll be able to access California’s Official Boater Education Card Test.

Posted By
December 17, 2015


#Categories: FAQ California

Boater’s are not required to have boat insurance in California. However, in some states boaters are required to carry boat insurance, so always check with boating law authorities in the state you plan to boat in.

If you’re the ‘better safe than sorry’ type and plan on getting boat insurance, you’ll recieve a discount with most insurance companies for having a boating license. Get certified with BOATsmart! today and save!

Posted By
December 17, 2015


#Categories: FAQ California