Virginia Boating Education Requirement



In 2007 Virginia established a boating safety education compliance requirement. The requirement is being phased-in over several years and applies to all Personal Watercraft (PWC) operators (“jet skis”) and operators of boats with motors of 10 hp and greater (including sailboats).

The schedule for compliance is as follows:

  • July 1, 2014    Age 45 and younger
  • July 1, 2015    Age 50 and younger
  • July 1, 2016:   All boaters
  • All PWC operators (a person must be 14 years or older to operate a PWC)

To be in compliance you must pass an approved boating safety course.  Check this link for information about classroom and approved online options.

Dave Herndon, a Dymer resident and boating safety authority, has identified local course options:

1.   A free Boating Education Course from the local flotilla of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAux). Information on local courses can be found online here.  The Local (Kilmarnock area) CG Auxiliary Flotilla (Flotilla 33) website is hereWalter Montross is the Flotilla 33 Public Education Staff Officer and can set you up for a boating class in the Kilmarnock area.  Walter’s contact information is Home Phone: 580-2250; Cell: 724-3454; Email:

2.  Another free Boating Education Course option is from a local squadron of the United States Power Squadron (USPS). These courses can be found online here.  The local Northern Neck Sail and Power Squadron (NNSPS) website is found hereDave Cook is the NNSPS Education Officer for boating safety courses in the Kilmarnock area and can set you up for a boating class.  Dave’s contact information is Home Phone: 438-6029; Email:

Once you complete a course, you do not have to “register” with the DGIF.  Keep your course completion paperwork onboard with you. You may purchase an optional Lifetime Virginia Boating Safety Education Card. This is a credit card style wallet card available for a $10.00 fee. Click here for more information.

If you are checked by the Virginia Marine Police and you are not in compliance the penalty is a $100 fine.



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