get your georgia boater education card
Need Your Georgia
Boater Education Card
BOATsmart! is the easiest and fastest way to get your Georgia Department of Natural Resources Approved Boater Education Card (or boating license). We include everything you need.
1. Study Online
Study up with the Official Georgia Boating Safety Course. Animated and narrated lessons put you in the captain’s seat. Anywhere, on any device and perfect for all ages.
2. Ace the test
It’s easy. Our Georgia Department of Natural Resources Approved multiple-choice test is open book with unlimited free retries. Basically, you’re guaranteed to pass and it’s good for life!
3. Get on the water
Once you pass the test, you can print your temporary card and use it immediately. Your permanent Georgia Boating Education Card, the official Georgia State Boating License, will arrive by mail within four weeks.
Proud to be North America’s Boating Educator. Join the crew!
Do you need a license to drive a boat In Georgia?
Born on or after January 1st, 1998? You must have a Georgia Boater Education Card to operate any motorized watercraft.
Animated, narrated & perfect for all ages.
make it easy
Our animated, narrated and interactive lessons guide your learning experience and help you pass.
Everything you need
The BOATsmart!® Course includes all the knowledge you need to pass the test and boat with confidence.
Study at your
BOATsmart!® automatically tracks your progress on any device. Take it anywhere, anytime.
Designed for all ages
& skill levels
Designed by boaters and subject matter experts just for you.
Made for boaters,
Georgia Boating Knowledge Base
Georgia Boater Card
Frequently Asked Questions
DO GEORGIA’S BOATERS NEED A BOATING LICENSE?
Yes. If you were born after January 1, 1998 and you’re operating a motorized boat in Georgia, you must have a Boater Education Card and it must be carried on board during boat operation. There are some great benefits to being a BOATsmart! cardholder – once you’ve obtained your BOATsmart! Card, it will be good for life, it will keep you legal when boating in other states and you’ll recieve boat insurance discounts.
WILL MY BOATSMART! CARD EVER EXPIRE?
Your BOATsmart! Card will never expire. But stay in touch after you pass the test – BOATsmart! offers free, online refresher lessons that will help you keep your boating skill and knowledge up to date as years pass and boating regulations change.
WILL MY GEORGIA BOATSMART! CARD BE VALID FOR BOATING IN OTHER STATES?
Yes! The BOATsmart! Card is accepted in 40 other states, which extend reciprocity to certified boaters. This law applies to operators of motorized boats (who have taken and passed a NASBLA approved boating safety course), but does not apply in all states to operators of personal watercraft (PWCs). Always check the boating laws in the state you plan to visit before operating a boat or PWC there.
WHERE ARE GEORGIA’S BOAT RAMPS LOCATED?
All over the state! To find a boat launch location in your area, check out the Georgia Department of Natural Resources ‘Outdoor Map’. It’s an awesome resource and you’ll find all the information you need.
IS MY GEORGIA BOATSMART! CARD THE SAME THING AS A GEORGIA BOATER EDUCATION CARD OR ‘BOATING LICENSE’?
Yes, your BOATsmart! Card is the same as a Georgia Boater Education Card. In Georgia, the ‘card’ is commonly referred to as a ‘Boating License’, although this is not the correct term.
CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE BOATING IN GEORGIA?
In Georgia it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. This includes any type of boat, sailboat, personal watercraft (PWC), water-skis, sailboard or similar device. Boaters in Georgia are considered to be under the influence if they have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher or if they are under the influence of drugs. Additionally, boaters under the age of 21 are considered to be under the influence if they have a BAC level of 0.02% or higher. Learn more about the risks of drinking and boating by taking the BOATsmart! Georgia Boating Safety Course!
WHO ENFORCES GEORGIA’S BOATING LAWS?
Georgia’s boaters must always comply with both federal and state boating laws and must follow any direction given by law enforcement. Learn more about Georgia’s boating laws by taking the BOATsmart! Georgia Course. Georgia’s boating law authorities you can expect to encounter on the water include:
The U.S. Coast Guard (on federal waters)
All peace officers
DO I NEED TO WEAR A LIFE JACKET WHEN BOATING IN GEORGIA?
Boaters who are required to WEAR life jackets in the state of Georgia include:
Children 13 years of age and under who are on boats that are underway.
PWC operators and passengers (inflatable life jackets are not approved for PWC passengers in Georgia).
Passengers being towed by a boat or PWC must wear a life jacket, ski belt, or ski-jacket. covers all aspects of safe boating and responsible boat operation on U.S. waterways. Boaters of any age and ability are encouraged to participate in the BOATsmart! certification program.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT TAKES ME LONGER THAN 3-HOURS TO COMPLETE THE BOATSMART! COURSE? WILL I NEED TO START OVER?
The 3-hour timer is only a minimum requirement. You’re free to spend as much time as you need in the BOATsmart! Knowledge Base before taking the Final Test.
DO I NEED A BOATING LICENSE TO OPERATE A PWC (I.E. WAVE RUNNER OR JET SKI) IN GEORGIA?
Yes, if you are between 12 and 15 years of age and operating a PWC while unaccompanied by a competent adult, or you were born after January 1, 1998, you must comply with Georgia’s Boater Education requirements to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and and carry a Georgia Boater Education Card on board the PWC.
ARE THERE CLASSROOM BOATING COURSES IN GEORGIA?
Yes! If you’re the type who would like to take a classroom course in boating safety, you can. Visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website at http://gadnrle.org/node/33 for more information about registering for a classroom course in your area.
WHAT ARE THE FINES AND/OR PENALTIES FOR BOATERS CAUGHT OPERATING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE ON GEORGIA’S WATERS?
On a first conviction, drunk boaters will face a maximum fine of up to $1,000, and may face up to 12 months of imprisonment. Subsequent convictions will carry heavier fines and penalties. Take the BOATsmart! Georgia Course to learn more about the effects of alcohol on boaters and the laws for boating with alcohol in Georgia.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE A PERSONAL WATERCRAFT (PWC) OPERATOR MUST BE IN ORDER TO OPERATE IN GEORGIA?
PWC operators in Georgia are required to be at least 12 years of age and must have obtained their Georgia Boater Education Card or be accompanied by a competent adult. PWCs are commonly known in Georgia as ‘Wave Runners’ and Jet Skis’. Learn more about PWC safety and handling characteristics by taking the BOATsmart! Georgia Course.
CAN I REPLACE MY GEORGIA BOATING LICENSE IF I LOST IT OR IT WAS ACCIDENTALLY DESTROYED?
Yes, if you’ve lost or destroyed your Georgia Boater Education Card, you can easily order a Replacement Card from BOATsmart! for $9.95 per card. Give us a call and we will send you a new BOATsmart! Card in the mail. Toll free 1-877-655-7778.