Boating Safety (Education)
Boaters born after June 30, 1996 and most personal watercraft operators who operate a vessel in Michigan must have a boater education card (boating safety certificate). There are a few different ways to earn your boating safety certificate:
Get your Michigan boating safety certificate online:
- Take a boating safety class - there are a couple different options available:
- Take and pass the final exam
- Print out your permanent Michigan boating safety certificate once you have successfully completed the course, passed the exam and paid the course fee (pay only when you pass).
Get your boating safety certificate in a classroom-based course:
Visit the DNR’s Recreational Safety Education Class Database and select the class type (Marine) and county in the drop-down lists.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadron provide instruction to boaters at all levels (fundamental to the advanced courses). Some of these classes will give you the knowledge you need to obtain a boating safety certificate.
Although there are some people who do not need to obtain a boating safety certificate to legally operate a boat or personal watercraft, Michigan conservation officers and county sheriffs encourage all persons operating boats in Michigan to enroll in a course.
Electric Shock Drowning (ESD)
Did you know that you are at risk by entering the water near a boat or dock powered by electricity? ESD can be deadly and is the result of a person coming into contact with an electrical current in the water. Stray voltage can come from boats or docks with faulty wiring, frayed cords and devices not approved as shore- or marine-rated. It can cause complete loss of muscle control, the inability to move and, ultimately, lead to drowning.
Learn how to protect you and your family from ESD.