California State Parks Boating and Waterways logo NASBLA logo.

California Boater Card,
We Make it Simple

Your Official California Boater Card in 3 easy steps.
Start the boating course now and be on the water today.

Step 1


Take the official BOATsmart! Course online and watch, listen and learn on any device. Our animated, narrated and brilliantly illustrated boating course puts you right in the Captain’s seat. Everything you need to pass the California Boating Safety Test and boat with confidence included. 

Boaters in California must pay a fee and obtain a California Boater Card Application ID. Boaters must enter their Application ID when registering for the BOATsmart! California Course.

  • Made for boaters, by boaters
  • Designed for all ages and abilities
  • Study at your own pace, your progress is tracked automatically
  • Optimized for all devices, including mobile
An image of a phone and laptop showing different stages of the boatsmart course
BOATsmart! multiple choice practice test

Step 2


The California Boating Safety Test is open-book and available to boaters of all ages, including boaters under 16 years of age.

  • State-approved California Boating Safety Test
  • No minimum age
  • Unlimited free test retries included

Step 3


Yeah buoy! You’re a captain now! You’ve now gained the knowledge to boat with confidence. Immediately upon passing the test, you’ll be able to print a temporary California Boater Card. Your permanent card is mailed at no charge.

  • Print your temporary California Boater Card immediately
  • Receive your official permanent card within 4-6 weeks
  • Your California Boater Card is good for life
BOATsmart! Crash Test Captain
California State Parks Boating and Waterways logo NASBLA logo.

California Approved Online Boating Safety Course

The BOATsmart! Course is 100% State Approved and includes all the knowledge required to obtain your California Boater Card. Take the boating course online at your own pace with easy-to-understand, step-by-step lessons.

An iPhone rests on a splash of water, the screen depicting a boat arriving to shore with a captain detailing an offshore wind


BOATsmart! has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 8124 ratings and reviews.

Step Inside the
Boatsmart! Course

three screenshots from an animated course video showing trailers, buoys, and towing a boat

The BOATsmart! Course includes all required NASBLA syllabus standards  in an easy-to-navigate and understandable format, organized into 6 learning modules and practice quizzes that help you test your comprehension prior to the final test.


– Glenn R, Orange County, CA –