Why Boater Education?
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries offers a free boating class that lasts between 6 and 8 hours that is usually completed in a day. The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements, many navigation rules, navigation charts, trailering, sailboats, and related subjects that include canoeing, personal watercraft and more. Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.
Who needs Boater Education?
Every boater is encouraged to take boater education. However, Louisiana law requires all boaters born after January 1, 1984, must complete a boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower. The person may operate the boat if accompanied by someone over 18 years of age who if required has completed the course. The minimum age for Boater Education Certification in Louisiana is 10 years old. Youth younger than 10 years old may take the course, but they are not eligible to be certified and will have to retake the course to obtain certification when they reach 10 years of age or older. A person who is licensed by the USCG as a captain to operate a vessel shall be exempt from the provisions.
How Much Does the Course Cost?
There is no charge for the classroom format.
Who Teaches Boater Education Courses?
Courses are taught by LDWF Agents and volunteer instructors. Volunteers undergo background checks and receive training and oversight from LDWF staff.
How do I Register for an “Instructor” Course?
Boating Classes with LDWF/volunteers are offered year-round but are most popular in the spring and summer. Boaters should create an account and sign up for a course by clicking here . Upon successful completion, students will receive temporary Boater Education Certification credentials. They will receive their permanent card in the mail at a later date.
How do I Register for an Approved “Online” Course?
If a classroom course is not a convenient option, a student may take the state approved online boating course provided by BoatUS.org or Boat-Ed.com. These courses are not administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, but they are approved by the state to satisfy boating education requirements. The BoatUS.org course is free, while there is a fee for the online course charged by Boat-Ed. Upon successful completion the student is provided a temporary certificate from the website. The student is issued a state boating education card approximately 3-4 weeks later. For more information, visit www.boatus.org or www.boat-ed.com (clicking on these links will take you to an external website).
Replacement Boater Education Card?
If you have lost your boating education certification card, you can print a temporary card and/or request a duplicate card to be mailed by clicking here.
Personal Watercraft Age - It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 years of age to operate a personal watercraft (PWC).