How to Get Your Boater’s License
Boating is one the most fun and relaxing activities that you can be a part of in Florida! It is also a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. Before hitting the water, don’t forget your license! Don’t have one? That’s okay, we’ve outlined some easy steps to take in order to get your license today.
Step 1: Understanding what you need
While many refer to it as a boating license, it is actually called a Boater Education Card. In the state of Florida, it is mandatory for anyone born after January 1, 1988 to have this card in order to operate a boat. If you were born before this date, it is not required to have your Boater Education Card, but it is highly recommended. For boat operation, you will need to be at least fourteen years old.
Step 2: Taking the Boating License Course
In order to get your Boater Education Card, you will need to complete an approved course by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The course takes around three hours to complete and will teach you everything you need to know about boating basics, terminology, navigation rules, boating regulations, operations, and how to handle boating emergencies. The course is setup so that you cannot simply skip through the study sessions. Each section has a review at the end of it and must be passed or you cannot move onto the next section. After the course is completed, you will take the exam. Once you have passed the exam with a score of at least 80%, you’ll receive a completion certificate.
Step 3: Send in Your Information
After passing the exam and receiving your completion certificate, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be notified and will then send you your Boater Education Card. Now you are ready to hit the water! These licenses do not need to be renewed, but they can be replaced when misplaced.
Step 4: Safety Protocols
Boat rides can be a fun and exciting adventure for the entire family. However, ensure that the below safety measures are taken before operating a boat.
- Always have your Boater Education License with you whenever you are operating a boat.
- Make certain that you have a properly fitting lifejacket for every person onboard.
- Take all necessary maintenance precautions to avoid any technical challenges while operating the boat, especially if headed to open seas.
- Look out for other boaters at sea. Be confident in your boating operational skills.
- Do not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a boat.
- Make sure there is a first aid kit onboard before leaving the dock. This is a necessity since help and aid may not be easily accessible out in the water.
- Along with a first aid kit, also include a tool kit with hammers, screwdrivers, flashlights, and extinguishers onboard.
If you are a lover of adventure, try taking up boating as your new hobby! You may surprise yourself with how much you actually enjoy it! Don’t let your lack of knowledge operating a boat be an excuse not to try something new. Call us today at 352-541-5960 or visit our website for more information on all things boating.