In 2018, the State of California initiated a Boater Card (boat driver’s license) requirement for operators of vessels under power. During 2018, persons 20 and younger were required to take a course of instruction and pass an exam to obtain their “license.” Getting caught without the license would result in a stiff fine.

For 2019, the age limit is changed and now persons 25 and younger operating a vessel under power are subject to the requirement (and to the fine for non-compliance).

If you or your children fit into this age category…ACT NOW…here’s how:

STEP #1 – Apply for a Boater Card ID#. To do this:

  1. Go to
  2. Select “Apply Now” on the menu and follow the directions – select the fourth bullet of Step #3 (I have not yet taken Boating Safety Education at this time)
  3. Pay the $10 fee and receive an ID# which is needed to register for the course

STEP #2 – Complete a training class and take an exam. You may take the course online.

  1. Select one of the online courses at
  2. Be sure to select a course that is certified at least through 2019
  3. Complete the course (it will take a few hours in front of the computer)
  4. Take the exam at the end of the course.
  5. Upon passing the exam, you can print a Certificate (temporary proof that you took the course and passed the exam). About two weeks later you will receive the Boater Card.

By the way, even if you are older than 25, you should take the course and the exam…and get your Boater Card. After all, safety comes before age. Do it now!

Sail Fleet Captains – Don White, Paul DeCapua