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How to Apply For a Boating License in Indiana

Indiana requires a Boater Education Card for boaters or a boating license. The regulatory authority for the card is Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

If you are under 15 years of age, you cannot operate a boat or a personal watercraft. If you are between 15 and 17 years of age, you must have your driver's license or ID stating you have passed a safety course. All boat operators must have either their driver's license or Indiana DNR issued boat safety course completion card.

The boating laws of the state require that the person operating a boat should not be under the influence of intoxicants. The legal limit of the blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% and if arrested for a higher BAC, harsh penalties may be imposed on the operator, based on the severity of the offense as well as the previous number of such convictions.

EXEMPTIONS

Boat operators possessing a valid boaters' license issued by the U.S Coast Guard or the Canadian Government are exempt from the above requirements.

BOATER EDUCATION COURSE

To obtain the Boater Education Card, you must complete a boater education course approved by the Indiana DNR, or pass an approved equivalency test.

In an approved course, students learn how to operate and maintain their boats, the legal requirements for boating, and what to do in emergencies. This ensures that boating remains a safe and fun experience.

There are various approved ways you can complete the course and obtain the card:

  1. Classroom options offered by the U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary and Indiana's DNR.
    • The course duration is a minimum of eight hours.
    • The courses taught by the DNR are free. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary charges a fee for materials.
  2. The Boater Education Card is either handed out at the end of class, or mailed to you within 45 days.
  3. Only the card issued after a classroom course is recognized in most other states, and by many insurance companies for insurance discounts.
  4. An approved online option offered by Boat Ed.
  5. This course may take up to 8 hours to complete; some options require you to complete the course in one sitting.
  6. Course materials are free. The provider may charge a fee for exams or the card: check provider's websites for details.
  7. A temporary card may be printed after passing the online exam; the permanent card will be mailed to you.

RENEWAL

The card is permanent. There is no need to renew it.

REPLACEMENT

To replace a card, contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources with your name and proof of course completion. Students who took the exam online may obtain a duplicate card by contacting their providers, and for a fee - check the providers' websites for details.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • While liability insurance is not mandatory for boating in Indiana, it is a good idea to have liability insurance to tide over troubles if you or someone operating your boat is involved in a boating accident.
  • See how to register your boat in Indiana.
  • Read the course material for the Boater Education Course.
  • Check the contact information of Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
 

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