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Tennessee Boating License

Anyone who was born on or after January 1, 1989 is required to carry a certificate to prove completion of the TWRA's Boating Education Requirement. Click Here to see Tennessee's Boating Education Requirements.

Your Boating License

The boating safety education wallet-sized certificate issued by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is the only card recognized and accepted as meeting the requirements of the law for Tennessee residents. This card must be on board in the possession of all Tennessee boaters born after January 1, 1989.

How to Obtain Your Boat Operator's Certification in Tennessee

After studying the boating safety material, you must first purchase a Type 600 boating safety exam permit. The permit costs $10. You can purchase it from a license agent which includes sporting goods’ retailers, bait stores, marinas and other such places.

The receipt from this transaction is your "ticket" to take the exam. It will admit you into an exam location and if you pass the test, your receipt will be stamped. This will allow you to operate a vessel legally on Tennessee 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 do not pass the exam, this receipt/"ticket" can continue to be used to take the exam as many times as it takes to pass. Try not to lose it!

To see a schedule of available places and times when the exam is offered . click here.

If You Lose your Boat Operator's Certificate /License

If your boating safety card is lost or stolen, you may purchase a Type 605 license from a license agent for $5.00. Your duplicate card will be mailed approximately two weeks from purchase date.


Tennessee 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) and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Most states with a mandatory boater education requirement will accept a Tennessee Boat Operator’s Card / Certification.

NOTE: Since some states require all boat operators to carry proof of having passed a NASBLA approved boating course and since the Tennessee-issued card never expires, you might want to keep your card regardless of your age.