Your Official South Carolina Boating License

The Official South Carolina Boating Course, Test and License is required for all unaccompanied boaters under 16 years of age. Designed for North American Boaters from coast-to-coast.
GET YOUR LICENSE Animated, narrated & perfect for all ages.
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Need your South Carolina Boater Card?

BOATsmart! is the easiest and fastest way to get your South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Approved Boater Education Card (or boating license). We include everything you need.

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1. Study Online

Study up with the Official South Carolina Boating Safety Course. Animated and narrated lessons put you in the captain’s seat. Anywhere, on any device and perfect for all ages.

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2. Ace the test

It’s easy. Our South Carolina 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!

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3. Get on the water

Once you pass the test, you can print your temporary card and use it immediately. Your permanent South Carolina Boater Education Card, the Official South Carolina Boating License, will arrive by mail within four weeks.

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Proud to be North America’s Boating Educator. Join the crew!

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Do you need a license to drive a boat?

You need education if you are under 16 years old, unaccompanied, and will be operating a boat or PWC of 15 horsepower or more in South Carolina.

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Try the test for free

Not sure what to expect? Try the Practice Test for free and test your knowledge.
Try it now

Try the test for free

Not sure what to expect? Try the Practice Test for free and test your knowledge.
Try it now

Watch, listen
& learn

Animated, narrated & perfect for all ages.

Animated lessons
make it easy

Our animated, narrated and interactive lessons guide your learning experience and help you pass.

Everything you need
included

The BOATsmart!® Course includes all the knowledge you need to pass the test and boat with confidence.

Study at your
own pace

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,
by boaters

Excellent

BOATsmart! has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 6431 ratings and reviews.

South Carolina Boating Knowledge Base

South Carolina Boater Card
Frequently Asked Questions

IS BOATSMART! A RECOGNIZED BOATING SAFETY ORGANIZATION?

 
Yes. The BOATsmart! Boating Safety Course and Test have been officially approved by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and is also recognized by the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
 

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.
 
IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE FOR PWC OPERATORS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

 
No, there is not a minimum age to operate a PWC in South Carolina, however there are horsepower restrictions for children under 16 years of age. Children under 16 years of age:

May operate a PWC without restrictions so long as the motor is less than 15hp

May operate a PWC of 15 hp or more so long as they are supervised by a person who is 18 years of age or older, or they have successfully complete a Boating Safety Course approved by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
 

CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE BOATING IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
 
In South Carolina it is illegal to operate any boat motorized boats while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. In South Carolina, boaters are considered to be under the influence if they are under the influence of alcohol and/or or drugs to the extent that their faculties are materially and appreciably impaired Learn more about the risks of drinking and boating by taking the BOATsmart! South Carolina Boating Safety Course!
 
WHO ENFORCES SOUTH CAROLINA’S BOATING LAWS?

 
South Carolina’s boaters must always comply with both federal and state boating laws and must follow any direction given by law enforcement. Learn more about South Carolina’s boating laws by taking the BOATsmart! South Carolina Course. South Carolina’s boating law authorities you’ll see on the water are:

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division

The U.S. Coast Guard

Any other authorized law enforcement officer
 

WILL MY SOUTH CAROLINA BOATER EDUCATION 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.
 

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.
 
ARE THERE CLASSROOM BOATING COURSES IN SOUTH CAROLINA?

 
Yes! If you’re the type who would like to take a classroom course in boating safety, you can. Contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for more information about registering for a classroom  course in your area.
 

IS MY SOUTH CAROLINA BOATSMART! CARD THE SAME THING AS A SOUTH CAROLINA BOATER EDUCATION CARD OR ‘BOATING LICENSE’?
 
Yes, your BOATsmart! Card is the same as a SouthCarolina Boater Education Card. In South Carolina the ‘Card’ is commonly referred to as a ‘Boating License’, although this is not the correct term.
 
WHAT FINES AND/OR PENALTIES WILL A BOATER CAUGHT OPERATING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE FACE ON SOUTH CAROLINA’S WATERS?

 
On a first conviction boaters who are under the influence will be subject to a fine of $200 and up to a 30 day prison sentence.

A second conviction can result in a fine up to $5,000 and up to 12 months in prison.

A third conviction can result in a fine up to $6,000 and up to 3 years in prison.

Take the BOATsmart! South Carolina Course to learn more about the effects of alcohol on boaters and the laws for boating with alcohol in South Carolina.
 

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Boating in
South Carolina

Trusted and recognized from coast to coast

Home to 12 major lakes, ranging from 7,500 to 110,000 acres in size, South Carolina’s waterways open the door for boaters to explore all of the state’s awesome scenery. You can see everything from the breathtaking mountains upstate, to the coastal beaches and the areas of low-lying, swampy wilderness.
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