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Ready and raring to get out on the water? Not so fast! Make sure you are following all of Florida’s legal requirements before you hit the water. One of the most important steps is learning about Florida’s boating license laws and boating education requirements. Here’s what you need to know before you go:

Do All Florida Boaters Need A Boating License?

Technically, there is no such thing as a boating license in Florida. Instead, anyone born in or after 1988 must have a boating education ID card. If you were born before 1988, it’s still recommended that you get your boating education ID card, however, it’s not required. Additionally, it never expires once you have your boating education ID card.

How Do I Get My Boating Education ID Card?

On the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website, you can find a list of approved boating safety courses in the state of Florida. There are options for both online and in-person courses. Once you finish your approved boating safety course, you or your course provider will submit your course completion certificate. You should receive your card from FWC in a few weeks.

How Do I Know The Boating Course I Choose Meets Florida State Requirements?

Before you sign up for a course, double-check with the instructor or administrator that the course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). The best way to ensure you choose an approved course is to pick one from the list of approved boating safety courses on the FWC website.

Do I Need A Florida Boating License If I’m Boating While On Vacation?

Even if you are just boating in Florida as a visitor from out of state, you still need to meet the Florida requirements for boating. If you already have a boating license or education card in another state, you can take a Temporary Certificate test in Florida to comply with the Boater Education Law. You can find more information about the Temporary Certificate Program here.

What Documentation Do I Need To Carry While Operating A Boat In Florida?

Once you have your boating education ID card from FWC, make sure to bring it with you every time you go boating. You’ll also want to have your driver’s license or state ID card with you when you’re on the boat as well.

More questions? The staff at Fish Tale Boats is well-versed in getting new boat owners out on the water smoothly and safely! For more information about buying your first boat and what you need to do to make sure you are ready to get out on the water, drop by and meet with one of our knowledgeable sales team employees!