California & Nevada Boater Cards

Boater Card?... What's a "Boater Card”?  And, Do I need one?

First, what a “boater card” is not - contrary to what you might think, it is not a driver's license for boaters.  It's more like a boating awareness and safety permit.  Second,... Do you need one?  Well, maybe... we’ll explain below.  Should you get one?  If you own a boat or plan to operate one - Yes!

Because Lake Tahoe is located in California and Nevada, it's shouldn’t be too surprising to learn each state has its own version of a "boater card."  In California, it's called California Boater Card, and in Nevada, it's called Nevada Boater Education Card.

Since it can’t hurt, it’s probably a good idea to get both. You don’t want to run afoul of the 6 or 7 law enforcement agencies patrolling the Lake because you haven’t got your boater card.  And, who knows... you might learn something!

Here are the requirements for each state... 

California Requirements

As of January 1, 2022, California requires anyone under age 45 operating a boat in California to hold a “California Boater Card.”  Then, each January 1 throughKXaRvGrNjvKBD5bM.jpg 2025, the age requirement to possess a California Boaters Card increases five years.  By January 1, 2025, everyone operating a boat in California must hold a California Boater Card.  Exemptions to the requirement are described on the California Boater Card Frequently Asked Questions.

For more information and how to apply for the card, visit the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways - California Boater Card website.  The cost is $10.00.

9PqBCjuQZyim6q4H.jpgNevada Requirements

Nevada boaters born on or after January 1, 1983, must complete a Nevada Department of Wildlife approved boater education course before operating a boat on Nevada waterways.  Once you complete and pass the test, you will be issued a Nevada Boater Education Card.  For more information on obtaining a Nevada Boater Education Card, visit Nevada’s website.  There's an $8.00 fee for a paper certificate or $13.00 for a plastic boater education card.