How to Get Your Florida Boating Safety ID Card
Few, if any, forms of recreation beat boating when it comes to connecting with nature and calming the mind. But with great relaxation comes inherent risk and great responsibility. As beautiful as Florida’s waterways are, responsible boaters know they’re fraught with situational and environmental challenges and are acquainted with the safe-boating rules and regulations designed to mitigate them.
Contrary to popular belief, the state of Florida does not require boating licenses, per se. However, anyone born on or after January 1, 1988, operating a boat with a 10 horsepower or greater engine in Florida waters must have successfully completed an approved boating safety course and obtained a Florida Boating Safety ID Card. Here’s how to get yours:
Finding and Taking an Approved Course
Approved Florida boating safety courses may be taken from a number of organizations either online, in the classroom, or the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadron at locations throughout the state. Courses (all of which require an 80% correct evaluation for credit) typically take fewer than 10 hours to complete and range in price from free to around $50.00.
The state also offers the nation’s only combined hunting and boating safety program. Free to Florida residents aged 12-18, participants in The Florida Virtual School Outdoor Education Course learn about proper safety procedures for experiencing wildlife, outdoor and extreme sports while obtaining their Florida Safe Boating ID card and becoming eligible for a Florida Hunting Safety Certificate. Even better, they earn a 0.5 high school credit and fulfill the requirements for taking an on-line and physical education course.
Getting Your Florida Boating Safety ID Card
Many providers automatically submit a card request to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission upon successful completion of the course. If so, you should get yours within two to three weeks. If not, you can request one yourself using the certificate or card (this is not your ID card) you will receive upon successful completion of the program. If you took the course on-line, print out your certificate, card, or obtain access to an electronic copy. In any case, your proof (which should include a logo and statement that the course was approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) will to need to provide the following:
- The name of the course
- The student’s full name, including middle initial
- The student’s home address
- The date of completion
Submit your request, along with your proof of completion, name, return address, phone number and date of birth to Bobbercard@myfwc.com or mail to:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Division of Law Enforcement
Boating Safety Unit
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
The only thing we at Harbortown Marina Canaveral take more seriously than our boating fun is our fellow boaters’ safety. That’s why, as a full service, naturally protected and preternaturally beautiful marina on central Florida’s spectacular Atlantic coast, we’re always here to get you the information and equipment you need to get safely underway.
Find more boating tips and information in our Captain’s Blog.