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Ohio Boating License

If you were born after 1981 and you operate a boat greater than 10 horsepower, Ohio law requires you to have a boater education certificate before operating your boat on Ohio waterways. Click here to see Ohio's Boating Education Requirements.

How to Obtain Your Boat Operator's Certification in Ohio

Upon completing an approved online course and paying the course fee, you'll be able to print a temporary certificate on the spot. This certificate will allow you to operate a vessel legally on Ohio waters. Your permanent card will be mailed to you within a few days. Remember to always carry your card with you when operating a boat.

If You Lose your Boat Operator's Certificate /License

If you received a plastic, wallet-size Boater Education Card/Certificate from ODNR Watercraft Division you can receive a replacement card at no charge as long as you are in the database which began in November 1999. Your date of birth and last name is needed to find your record. If your address has changed since you took your exam, please include your current address as well. You can call any field office or email your request to Ohio Department of Natural Resources Watercraft Division. It will take 10 to 15 working days to receive your new card, depending on when the next batch of cards will be created. If you must replace your card ASAP, please contact the appropriate office found on this page.


Ohio accepts Licenses / Certificates / Cards issued by those states whose courses meet the minimum requirements set by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). Most states with a mandatory boater education requirement will accept a Ohio Boat Operatorís Card / Certification.

NOTE: Since some states require all boat operators to carry proof of having passed a NASBLA approved boating course and since the Ohio-issued card never expires, you might want to take your card with you when boating in another state.