Florida Boater Education Requirements
If you were born on or after January 1, 1988, and want to operate a boat with 10 or more horsepower, you must:
Pass an approved boater safety course.
Carry a photo ID and a Boater Safety ID card Card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
You can operate with someone on board who is at least 18 and has the required ID card, or is exempt from educational requirements, or is a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed vessel master.
Operating on a private lake or pond.
Non-residents with proof of a NASBLA-approved boater safety course from another state.
Within 90 days of boat purchase with a proper bill of sale.
Within 90 days of completing an approved safety course with a photo ID and course completion certificate on board.
Mandatory Violator Education:
If convicted of a criminal boating violation, certain boating infractions leading to reportable accidents, or two non-criminal boating safety violations within 12 months, you must complete Mandatory Violator Education to restore boating privileges.
Choose from several NASBLA/Florida-approved boating safety courses or take the approved online violator course.
Requirements for Boat Rental Facilities:
Rental facilities cannot rent boats without proper safety equipment, exceeding recommended horsepower or load capacity, or unseaworthy vessels.
For boats with 10+ horsepower motors:
Must provide pre-rental instruction on operational details, safe operation, right-of-way rules, operator responsibilities, and local waterway characteristics.
Instructors must have completed a NASBLA/Florida-approved boater safety course.
Personal watercraft rentals:
Not allowed for anyone under 18.
Must offer on-the-water demonstration and a “check ride” to assess renters’ ability to navigate personal watercraft.
Remember: It is your responsibility to stay informed and up-to-date on changes in regulations and laws as well as safety and operation requirements
This course is a basic boater safety course and is the minimum requirement. Additional education is recommended, and may even be required, to operate a boat safely.