|North Carolina Boating Courses
Safety Education Requirements
Age and Education Requirements
North Carolina state law requires all boaters under the age of 26 to successfully complete a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating any vessel propelled by a motor of 10 HP or greater. (G.S. 75A-16.2)
There is no minimum age requirement for who can take the course. However, no one under 14 can legally operate a personal watercraft regardless of having passed the course.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) Boater Education Program teaches the fundamentals of safe and responsible boating. You can complete the course in two ways: take a six (6) hour classroom course which is preferred or take the course online.
The Boating Education Requirement is Waived for:
We strongly advise all boaters of all ages to take boating safety courses throughout their years of boating.
You can find many boaters’ education classes online. It's important that the course you choose meets the minimum standards set by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
Six to 13 lessons / units comprise most of the online boating courses. At the end of each lesson, a quiz is given. You must pass the quiz with a minimum score of 70% before going to the next unit.
As a boat operator you have a responsibility to keep up-to-date with new boating laws and safety information. In addition to knowing the changes in North Carolina, you must also be aware of the rules in the states where you plan on boating. A data base of all courses approved by NASBLA can be found here.