Beginning January 1st, 2018, California started phasing in the requirement for boaters to obtain a California Boaters Safety Card for the legal operation of a motorized vessel on state waterways. The phase in process was done by age and as of January 1st, 2020, operators under the age of 35 must have a Boaters Safety Card. By the year 2025, all boaters must hold this card. 

In order to apply for the card, students must first take a state approved boaters safety course. These courses can be online, classroom, or hands-on depending which course you choose. After successful completion of the course a student can now apply online for the Boats Safety Card that is issued by the Department of Boating and Waterways.

Who is exempt from needing this card? Here are a few examples

  • A person who is renting the boat- Harbor Sailboats!
  • A person operating the vessel who is under direct supervision of a card holder that is 18 years or older
  • A non state resident who is operating a boat for less than 60 days
  • A person operating the vessel during an organized regatta
  • A person who hold a commercial fishing license
  • A person who is in possession of a marine operators licenses (USCG Captains License)

Do you ASA certification from Harbor Sailboats count? Unfortunately the state does not recognize your ASA certifications.

Visit the California Boaters Card Website for state approved classes and more information.