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Official Oklahoma boating course

The Oklahoma BOATsmart! Boating Safety Course is approved and accredited by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. With more than 3,000 Five Star Reviews, we’re proud to be recognized as an official Oklahoma State Boating Course and the choice of boaters in Oklahoma.

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NASBLA & Coast Guard Approved

The BOATsmart! Oklahoma Boating Safety Course is officially recognized by the United States Coast Guard as meeting the standards of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program. BOATsmart!’s online Oklahoma Boating Safety Course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) as it meets and exceeds U.S. Boating Education Standards. NASBLA develops education standards for boating safety and represents boating law administrators in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

BOATsmart! courseware on a tablet.

Watch, Listen & Learn

From anywhere, on any device at any time.

Our animated and narrated Boating Safety Course is perfect for all ages. Study from your Smartphone, Tablet or Desktop and switch between devices at any time. BOATsmart! automatically tracks your progress so you can study at your own pace.

OKLAHOMA BOATER EDUCATION CARD FAQS

WHAT IS AN OKLAHOMA BOATER EDUCATION CARD

A Oklahoma Boater Education Card proves that you’ve obtained the knowledge needed to safely operate a motorized boat on Oklahoma waterways. All boat operators who 12-15 years of age are required to obtain a Boater Education Card to legally operate a boat powered by a motor of 10 hp or more, or sailing vessel that is 16 feet in length or longer.

AGE AND HORSEPOWER RESTRICTIONS

UNDER 12 YEARS OF AGE

Operators who are less than 12 years of age are not permitted to operate a boat or PWC powered by a motor of 10 hp or more, or sailing vessel that is more than 16 feet in length. 

12-15 YEARS OF AGE

Operators 12-15 years of age who do not have a Boater Education Card are not permitted to operate a motorized boat of 10 hp or more, or sailing vessel greater than 16 feet in length unless they are supervised by an adult who is at least 18 years of age. The supervising adult must be on board the boat. 

If the boat being operated is a PWC, the supervisor must be within 500 yards of where the PWC is being operated.

WHERE CAN I GET MY OKLAHOMA BOATER EDUCATION CERTIFICATE?

You can get your Oklahoma Boater Education Card by completing the Official BOATsmart! Course online. Once you successfully complete the online study guide and final exam, you can print a temporary card immediately.  BOATsmart! will mail your permanent card within 4 weeks.

HOW OLD DO I HAVE TO BE TO GET A BOATER CARD IN OKLAHOMA?

There is no minimum age to complete the Oklahoma  Boater Education Course and obtain your Boater Education Card.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY BOATING LICENSE?

It takes a minimum of 3 hours to get your Oklahoma Boater Education Card online. Once you’ve completed the online course and official test, you can print a temporary card and go boating right away. Your permanent card will be mailed to you by BOATsmart! within 4  weeks.

CAN I GET REFRESHER LESSONS AFTER TAKING THE OKLAHOMA BOATING COURSE?

Yes. Boat operators in the state of Oklahoma can keep up-to-date on the latest boating regulations with the free BOATsmart! Knowledge Base. Learn about boating equipment requirements, navigation and right-of-way regulations and restrictions that may apply on Oklahoma waterways to be sure that you’re safe and confident on the water. 

DO I NEED A LICENSE TO RENT A BOAT IN OKLAHOMA?

Boat operators in Oklahoma are not required to obtain a Boater Education Card to rent a boat within the state. Operators who are 12-15 years of age must be certified to operate a motorized boat of more than 10 hp or sailboat 16 feet in length or longer. 

Boating and alcohol in Oklahoma

Oklahoma boating and alcohol laws

It is illegal in the state of Oklahoma to lease or otherwise give permission to another person to operate any boat on any waters, except privately owned waters, while the operator is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances.

In Oklahoma, a person is considered to be under the influence if:

  • They have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or greater as measured in the person’s breath or blood.
  • They are under the influence of another controlled substance to a degree that makes him or her incapable of safe operation.

Penalties for drinking and boating

In Oklahoma, a person convicted of operating under the influence will be subject to the following penalties:

  • On a first conviction, they will receive a fine of up to $1,000.
  • On a second, or subsequent conviction, they will receive a fine of up to $2,500 and not less than $1,000.

Oklahoma Boating Age Requirements

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Under 12 years of age

Operators who are less than 12 years of age are not permitted to operate a boat or PWC powered by a motor of 10 hp or more, or sailing vessel that is more than 16 feet in length.

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12-15 years of age

Operators 12-15 years of age who do not have a Boater Education Card are not permitted to operate a motorized boat of 10 hp or more, or sailing vessel greater than 16 feet in length unless they are supervised by an adult who is at least 18 years of age. The supervising adult must be onboard the boat. 

If the boat being operated is a PWC, the supervisor must be within 500 yards of where the PWC is being operated.

 

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Oklahoma's Boating Fines

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Operating under the influence

Up to $2500

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Boater Education Card Violations

Up to $500

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Misuse of Marine Sanitation Device

Up to $1000

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Reckless or Negligent Boat Operation

Up to $250

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Life Jacket Violations

Up to $500

General Oklahoma boating FAQs

Who regulates boating laws in Oklahoma?

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol Marine Enforcement Division is responsible for regulating boating laws in the state of Oklahoma. 

Boating Emergencies:

Call 911 to report a boating emergency in Oklahoma. 

WHO ENFORCES OKLAHOMA’S BOATING LAWS?

Boating laws in Oklahoma are enforced by:

  • Oklahoma Highway Patrol Division.
  • Lake Patrol Section troopers.
  • The Coast Guard (on federal waters).

 

Law enforcement in the state of Oklahoma have the authority to stop and board boats to ensure they are complying with state and federal laws. Refusal to comply is illegal.

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How to register a boat in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA BOAT REGISTRATION

In order to legally operate a motorized boat or sailboat in the state of Oklahoma, you must obtain a Certificate of Registration and validation decals. The Certificate of Registration must be carried onboard during operation and be available for inspection by law enforcement officers.

The Certificate of Number and validation decals can be obtained from any motor license agent, or by submitting an application and fee to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Registration is valid for a period of 1 year or 3 years, and expire on June 30th of the year indicated on the validation decals. Boat owners will be mailed a renewal reminder prior to the expiration date.

 

THESE VESSELS DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION IN OKLAHOMA

  • Boats that have been federally documented by the Coast Guard.
  • Boats that are only used for racing purposes.
  • Boats that have been registered in another state and are using Oklahoma waters for 60 days or less.
  • Human-powered craft (i.e. canoes and paddleboats).

 

BOAT TITLING REQUIREMENTS

A boat or engine that is required to have a title can not be registered until a title is issued in the new owner’s name. Boat and engine titles can be obtained from any county title office.

The following boats and engines must be titled in order to be sold, purchased or otherwise acquired:

  • An outboard motor of 10 horsepower or greater.
  • A boat that is  14 feet in length or greater,
  • A boat that is under 14 feet in length that has a permanently attached, mechanical engine of 10 horsepower or greater.

 

BOAT TITLING REQUIREMENTS

Boat owners must apply for a title within 30 days of the purchase or transfer of a boat. The boat may be operated for 30 days prior to obtaining the title and registration so long as the original bill of sale is carried on board.

If the Certificate of Registration is lost or destroyed, boat owners must apply to the Oklahoma Tax Commission and pay a fee in order to obtain a replacement.

 

DO I NEED BOAT INSURANCE IN OKLAHOMA?

Boats in Oklahoma are not required to be insured however, it is recommended. 

Boats in  Oklahoma are required to correctly display their registration number and validations stickers. 

Registration numbers and stickers must be displayed as follows:

  • Numbers must be applied as a decal, painted or permanently affixed to both sides of the bow (boat owners are not permitted to display any other numbers in this area).
  • The registration number must be in bold block letters that are at least 3 inches high, 1.5 inches in stroke width and in a color that contrasts with the color of the boat.
  • The numbers must be separated from the letters by a hyphen or by an equivalent space.
  • The numbers must be read from left to right on both sides of the boat.
  • Validation decals must be affixed on both sides of the boat behind and in line with the registration number.

Oklahoma lifejacket laws

All boat types are required to carry one, Coast Guard-approved, wearable lifejacket in good and serviceable condition for each person on board.

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Personal Watercraft

Any person operating on a PWC, sailboard or being towed behind a boat on waterskis or a similar device is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket

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Children 13 years of age and under

Children who are 13 years of age or under are required to wear a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket while underway on any boat that is less than 26 feet in length.

Oklahoma’s General Boating Regulations

NEGLIGENT OR RECKLESS BOAT OPERATION

No person is permitted to operate any boat, parasails, water skis, surfboard, personal watercraft (PWC), or similar device, in a reckless, careless or negligent manner that may endanger the life or property of any person.

Examples of Reckless/Negligent Operation include:

  • Operating a boat or allowing another person to operate a boat during hazardous weather/wind conditions which may endanger a person or their property.
  • Operating in restricted areas.
  • Disregarding posted speed limits, no wake zones or other boating restriction signs.
  • Failing to stop for an emergency boat which is making a visible or audible signal.
  • It is illegal to overload or give permission to overload a boat with passengers or gear so as to exceed the posted capacity plate, Coast Guard standards, or the recommended capacity of the boat manufacturer.

CARELESS BOAT OPERATION

In Oklahoma, it is illegal to operate a boat in a careless manner. Careless operation includes mooring, beaching or parking a boat at the edge of or within a designated swimming area or causing danger to others due to the wake of your boat. 

Environmental Protection

Non-native Aquatic Species

American waterways have been under threat from foreign aquatic plants, fish and invertebrates. Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) are transferred from boats and boating equipment that originate from external waterways. Once introduced to a new waterway, the ANS will detach from the contaminated boat and spread like wildfire. ANS include: Milfoil, Zebra Mussels and Quagga Mussels.

Why are ANS such a serious threat?

  • They have no natural predators in U.S. waters.
  • Some ANS can actually survive out of water, making transfer easy.
  • They reproduce quickly.
  • They have harmful effects on the native wildlife, habitats and ecosystems.

 

For more information on Aquatic Nuisance Species, visit: www.protectyourwaters.net/impacts.php.

Help prevent the spread of non-native species

  • Inspect all surfaces of your boat and remove aquatic plants or animals before leaving any body of water.
  • Ensure you flush raw-water cooling systems and clean sea-strainers before moving your boat from one body of water to another.
  • Empty and dry any buckets before leaving a body of water.
  • Remove any plant fragments from bait wells, fishing gear, trailers, dive gear or props.
  • Dispose of plant fragments and bait into a garbage receptacle on land. 
  • Avoid chopping vegetation with your boat’s propeller.
  • Clean and dry all live-wells prior to transporting your boat.
  • Drain all water from your motor and bilge and dry all areas.
  • Thoroughly wash your boat, including the hull, before putting it into a new body of water.
  • Refer to specific drying times.

Infestations of non-native species

Report new infestations of non-native aquatic species to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (209) 946-6400.

Oklahoma AIS Online Reporting

For more information on Aquatic Invasive Species in the state of Oklahoma visit https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/fishing/ans 

Sooner State, Blue Waters, Good Times

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Oklahoma Boating Destinations

OKLAHOMA’S BOATING DESTINATIONS

Oklahoma has over 200 lakes and over 1 million acres of water that offer the perfect venue for boaters and watersports enthusiasts to enjoy. Finding an awesome waterway to spend the day on is no problem if you’re boating in Oklahoma!

You’ll even find uncrowded waterways in 23 of Oklahoma’s State Parks! So whether you’re from Oklahoma’s ‘Red Carpet Country’ or ‘Chocktaw Country’, a busy place like Tulsa or Oklahoma City, or maybe you’re just cruising up Oklahoma’s 400-mile stretch of historic Rte. 66 with your boat trailer tow, there’s sure to be a lake just around the corner to go boating on!

Although Oklahoma has many great lakes for boaters and paddlers to enjoy, this particular state is famous for having the ‘big 3′: Lake Tenkiller, Lake Eufala and Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees. Without a doubt, the ‘Sooner State’ has become a serious U.S. boater destination! Check out our helpful list below of boating destinations in Oklahoma!

 

STATE PARKS

Many of Oklahoma’s State Parks offer boaters everything they need to hit the water and enjoy an awesome day of outdoor adventure. Are you looking for a park where you can go boating, maybe do some diving and then dock for the day? Or rent an ATV and hit the sand dunes for the afternoon? You can find this total package experience in an Oklahoma State Park! A few of our favorite parks include: Beaver’s Bend State Park, Grand Lake State Park and Lake Texoma State Park

 

GO FISHING!

The fishing in Oklahoma is fantastic. With more than 200 lakes around the state, you could grab the latest fishing report, your rod and your tackle and boat or wade your way out to a famous Oklahoma fishing hole any day of the week… Or discover your own sweet spot!

What kind of fish can you reel in from Oklahoma waters? Crappie, bass and catfish are the most popular. Find out more about Oklahoma’s fishing regulations by visiting the website for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Learn more about the best places to go fishing in Oklahoma by visiting Oklahoma’s Official Tourism website.

Helpful resources for boating in Oklahoma