Your Official West Virginia Boating License
Need Your West Virginia Boater Card?
BOATsmart! is the easiest and fastest way to get your West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Approved Boater Education Card (or boating license). We include everything you need.
1. Study Online
Study up with the Official West Virginia 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 West Virginia Division 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 West Virginia Boater Education Card, the Official West Virginia Boating License, will arrive by mail within four weeks.
The Best Boating Course. Period.
|Limited Time Pricing||$19.95||$34.95|
|Course Access||Lifetime||90 Days|
|Get Licensed in 3 Hours (Average)|
|Animated, Narrated & Perfect for All Ages|
|Live Customer Support|
|Access to Exclusive Partner Discounts|
|Unlimited Test Retries|
|100% Satisfaction Guarantee|
|1% For the Planet Member|
Proud to be North America’s Boating Educator. Join the crew!
Do you need a license to drive a boat in West Virginia?
Born after December 31, 1986? You must have a West Virginia Boater Education Card to operate any motorized watercraft greater than 10 horsepower.
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,
West Virginia Boating Knowledge Base
West Virginia Boater Card Frequently Asked Questions
DO WEST VIRGINIA BOATERS NEED A BOATING LICENSE?
Yes. If you were born after December 31, 1986 and you’re operating a boat a motorized boat or Personal Watercraft (PWC), you must have a West Virginia boating license and it must be carried on board the boat during 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.
CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE BOATING IN WEST VIRGINIA?
In West Virginia it is illegal to operate any motorized boat or personal watercraft (PWC) while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination thereof. In West Virginia, boaters are considered to be under the influence if they have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. Learn more about the risks of drinking and boating by taking the BOATsmart! West Virginia Boating Safety Course!
WHAT FINES AND/OR PENALTIES WILL A BOATER CAUGHT OPERATING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE FACE ON WEST VIRGINIA’S WATERS?
On a first conviction, drunk boaters will face a minimum fine of $500, and up to 6 months imprisonment. Subsequent convictions will carry heavier fines and penalties. Take the BOATsmart! West Virginia Course to learn more about the effects of alcohol on boaters and the laws for boating with alcohol in West Virginia.
WILL MY WEST VIRGINIA 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 IS THE MINIMUM AGE A PERSONAL WATERCRAFT (PWC) OPERATOR IS REQUIRED TO BE IN WEST VIRGINIA?
PWC operators in West Virginia are required to be at least 12 years of age. Learn more about PWC safety and handling characteristics by taking the BOATsmart! West Virginia Course.
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.
WHO ENFORCES WEST VIRGINIA’S BOATING LAWS?
West Virginia’s boaters must always comply with both federal and state boating laws and must follow any direction given by law enforcement. Learn more about West Virginia’s boating laws by taking the BOATsmart! West Virginia Course. West Virginia’s boating law authorities you’ll see on the water are:
The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources Police Officers
The U.S. Coast Guard (on federal waters)
Any other peace officer
DO I NEED A BOATING LICENSE TO OPERATE A PWC (I.E. WAVE RUNNER OR JET SKI) IN WEST VIRGINIA?
Yes, PWC operators must comply with West Virginia’s Boater Education requirements to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and and carry their West Virginia Boater Education Card.
DO I NEED TO WEAR A LIFE JACKET WHEN BOATING IN WEST VIRGINIA?
The only boaters required to WEAR their life jackets in the state of West Virginia are:
Children 12 years of age and under while underway on the deck of any vessel.
PWC operators and passengers.
Passengers being towed by a boat or PWC.