A boating license is a credential needed when residents want to legally operate a boat or vessel. However, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IA DNR) requires individuals to complete a boaters safety course and obtain a certificate of completion instead of a boat license. An Iowa boat certification is the necessary document that boaters need to possess whenever they want to operate a boat or watercraft.

In order to obtain a boat safety certificate, residents may have to satisfy certain requirements and obey state boat rules and responsibilities. Moreover, they are also mandated to discover how to register boats that are in their possession, so that they can avoid future penalties if stopped by a police officer while operating it on open waterways. To learn more information about how to get the proper credentials and the requirements that boaters must satisfy, continue reading the sections below.

Do you need a license to drive a boat in Iowa?

Boaters do not need a boating license in Iowa in order to operate a boat or watercraft, since a boater education card is the only required document that they must possess. The IA DNR mandates boat operators to enroll in a boaters safety course and upon completion to get a certificate that they can use as a license to operate a watercraft. Getting a boating certificate will improve the safety of boaters and operators of other watercrafts on Iowa lakes and rivers.

Iowa Boat License Requirements

To obtain a boat certification in Iowa, residents need to first satisfy certain requirements. As the first requirement, individuals must satisfy the boating license age range in order to get the course certificate.

IA residents are mandated to complete a safety course if they are between 12 and 17 years of age and if they plan to operate a personal watercraft (PWC) or a motorboat that is over ten horsepower. Individuals who are older than 17 years of age may also decide to enroll in a boating school and learn how to become safer and more responsible boaters.

Getting a Boat License in Iowa

Since an Iowa boating license is not issued to individuals, they may choose to get a certification as proof of completion of a safety course for boaters. At the end of the course, residents will receive a boater education card which can be used as a document for operating watercraft or motorboats. IA residents may get a certificate by choosing one of the three methods for completing a boat course:

  • Course taken in a classroom setting
  • Iowa DNR Home-study Boating Education Course
  • Online course through one of the available online course providers

Iowa Boater Safety Courses

A boaters safety course in Iowa is a mandatory requirement for individuals who are at least 12 but not older than 17 years of age. However, IA residents of all ages may enroll in such course in order to learn the boating laws and regulations and to become safer participants in the waterways of Iowa. There are several online boating classes that individuals may choose and enroll in.

Moreover, boaters may also decide to take an Iowa DNR home-study boating education course, for which they will obtain the needed studying materials from the DNR and learn about safe boating from home. And finally, IA residents may also decide to take the course at a DNR boating school in a classroom setting.

Renewing and Replacing an Iowa Boating License

When holding a boater safety card in Iowa, holders may often wonder whether their education cards have expiration dates, similarly to the other credentials they hold. Moreover, they may be trying to inquire information about whether they will have to perform a renewal procedure or not.

Furthermore, when dealing with a lost card, individuals may have to replace it with a duplicate card in order to continue operating a watercraft legally. To get a replacement boat card, boaters are encouraged to contact their course provider and discover more details.

Iowa Boat Registration Basics

Boaters need to learn the basic Iowa DMV boat registration requirements that they need to satisfy when owning and operating a motorboat or watercraft. The IA DNR requires boat owners to register their vessels at their office, after which they will have to display the current registration decals and the registration number given by the County Recorder.

At the end of the procedure, the IA DNR will issue a registration certificate that boaters must carry with them when operating the boat or watercraft. To obtain a watercraft registration, applicants must provide proof of ownership, a boat title, current registration and a completed application form. After getting the registration, owners need to remember that its expiration date is within three years.

Note: Applicants for a DMV boat registration who are not residents of Iowa may perform the corresponding procedure at their home states or file an application to the County Recorder in the county of primary use.

Iowa Boating Rules and Regulations

To get an Iowa boater education card that will enable individuals to operate a watercraft or motorboat, boaters need to obey certain state laws as well as imposed rules and regulations. The rules, which refer to the age restriction requirement, mandate residents between 12 and 17 years of age to complete an appropriate safety course in order to allow them to operate their vessels.

Moreover, as part of the boat requirements and regulations, individuals who are not within that age range may also enroll and complete a safety course in order to increase their awareness of the operation of boats. More information about the Iowa boating regulations and rules are available at the safety course for boaters.

Iowa Boating License Fees

The cost of an education may differ depending on the course provider and on the method that individuals will use for taking the classes. Therefore, taking the boater safety course online may require applicants to pay a fee that will range around $30 approximately.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.