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Boating Courses & Safety Certificates
Knowledgeable boaters are safer boaters!
Boating courses are fun for the entire family and are offered at many locations throughout the state and in your own home. People who successfully complete a Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission approved boating course are issued a Boating Safety Education Certificate good for a lifetime.

Boating Safety Education Certificates are required:

  • To operate a personal watercraft (definition)
  • For persons born on or after January 1, 1982, to operate boats powered by motors greater than 25 horsepower.

Any operator that is required to have a Boating Safety Education Certificate must carry the certificate with them while operating a boat. (Scrolll down to the bottom of this page for information about obtaining a durable, waterproof plastic card)

Approved permanent Boating Safety Education Certificates for Pennsylvania residents must be issued by the PA Fish & Boat Commission. Out of state boaters must have a certificate issued for a course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

bulletBasic Boating
bulletLong Distance Learning (Internet & correspondence)
bulletBoating & Water Safety Awareness (students grades 6-12)
Classroom Courses
In addition to the Commission courses, there are approved classroom boating courses are available from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron and providers listed below. In some cases, there are fees for these courses in addition to the permanent Boating Safety Education Certificate fee of $10.

Boating safety agencies and organizations

Organization Classroom Course Schedules
Fish & Boat Commission List of classroom courses (sortable table)
PFBC Fishing & Boating Calendar of Events

Commission Boating Course Hot-line:
1-888-PAFISH-1 (1-888-723-4741)

US Coast Guard Auxiliary
US Power Squadron
United States Sailing Association
Home Study Courses (fact sheet)
The Commission has two approved Internet-based boating courses and one home-study, video-based course for distance learning. There are fees for these courses in addition to the permanent Boating Safety Education Certificate fee of $10.

Internet courses

Boat Pennsylvania online and video courses internet courses

Home-Study, Video-Based Course

  • Learn at home with Roni as your guide. Order the Boat Pennsylvania home-study, video-based boating course. Visit the Boat Pennsylvania website or call 1-800-830-2268 to order. There is a charge plus an additional fee of $10 for successful students who choose to purchase their permanent PA Boating Safety Education Certificate.

Boat PA's video course

Certificate Cards
Boating Safety Education CertificateThe Commission-issued Boating Safety Education Certificate is a durable, waterproof plastic card. We punched a hole in it to make it handy to attach to your life jacket, boat keys or the lanyard on your PWC.

To obtain a card, complete an Application for a Permanent Boating Safety Education Certificate Card. The application can be used to:

Processing and delivery of permanent Boating Safety Education Certificates may take 30 to 40 days. Should you not receive a permanent card within that time frame, contact the PFBC at 888-723-4741 for assistance. Please note that temporary PFBC Boating Safety Education Certificates are valid for only 60 days from the date of issue.

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Boating Safety Education Certificate
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