In most cases, an Idaho boating license is a credential that residents need to obtain in order to operate a motorboat or watercraft on state waterways. However, the state Department of Parks and Recreation (ID DPR) encourages residents to complete a boating education course first, being issued a certificate of completion at the end of that program. This certificate can be used as proof of a motorist’s ability to operate a vessel, along with boat registration documents that must be obtained to prove the ownership of the vessel that is being operated.

In order to obtain a boat certification in ID, residents need to satisfy certain requirements. Moreover, they may obey boating laws, rules and regulations when operating a vessel on state waterways. To discover more information about how to get a boat safety certificate in Idaho, continue reading the following sections.

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

Boaters do not need an Idaho boating license to operate a motorboat or watercraft in the state. Therefore, motorists are not required to complete an application procedure for a boating credential.

However, the ID DPR encourages residents to obtain a boat safety certificate after completing a corresponding safety course in order to improve their knowledge and skills. Moreover, a boat card may be beneficial in a situation when boating enthusiasts are required to provide proof of their ability to operate a watercraft or motorboat.

Idaho Boat License Requirements

In most states, motorists may have to satisfy certain boat license requirements prior to operating a motorboat or a vessel on state waterways. Those requirements, in most cases, determine the minimum boating license age limit of the applicants.

On the other hand, there are no Idaho boating laws that require boaters to be of minimum age, take a safety class or pass a proficiency exam. Although there are no such laws, certain counties in ID have local ordinances that require residents to be within a certain age range in order to operate water vessels.

The Adams County does not allow individuals who are younger than 10 years of age to operate a watercraft, except if they are supervised by an adult. Moreover, residents who are younger than 14 years of age are also not allowed to operate a motorboat without supervision when the vessel is powered by a motor with more than 15 horsepower.

Furthermore, Benewah County also does not allow residents who are younger than 10 years of age to operate a motorboat without the supervision of an adult. Residents between 10 and 14 years of age may operate a motorboat with a motor rating of 15 horsepower or more only when they are supervised by an adult.

In Bonner County, children who are younger than 10 years of age are not allowed to operate motor-driver watercraft or personal watercraft without adult supervision. However, residents between 10 and 14 years of age are simply prohibited from operating a motorboat with a motor rating higher than 10 horsepower.

Finally, in Kootenai County, residents between 10 and 14 years of age are allowed to operate a boat or water vessel under the supervision of an adult, unless the motor is 15 horsepower or less.

Getting a Boat License in Idaho

Boaters who wonder “How to get a boating license in Idaho?” need to know that the ID DPR does not require a boating credential or certificate in order for residents to operate watercraft. On the other hand, motorists are encouraged to complete a boating education program in order to increase their techniques and improve their knowledge of a boat’s operation.

Idaho Boater Safety Courses

ID residents are not strictly required under state law to reach a certain age in order to operate a motorboat, and are not mandated to take a boat safety course or pass any proficiency exam. With that said, certain counties in Idaho have imposed their own boating rules, which may vary from county to county. Motorists who wish to enroll in a boating school may choose to either take a corresponding course in person or online.

The ID DPR offers residents the opportunity to choose an online boaters safety course from a list of state-approved institutions. Because each course provider may have different regulations, boaters are encouraged to learn more details about each online course before enrolling.

Renewing and Replacing an Idaho Boating License

The Idaho DPR does not issue a boating license for motorists who wish to operate a watercraft. Therefore, boaters do not have the responsibility to renew or replace any of their credentials. However, in the event that residents who hold a boat card end up losing the document accidentally, they may be able to replace it with a new one through the course provider.

Idaho Boat Registration Basics

Obtaining an Idaho DMV boat registration is a segment of the requirements for operating a watercraft or motorboat. Boat owners whose vessels are motorized are mandated to get a boat registration before taking their watercraft on open waterways.

In order to legally operate a motorboat, individuals need to prepare their boat title and registration documents, as well as the boat’s bow numbers which must be displayed correctly. However, these watercraft registration requirements may vary based on the make, propulsion type and boat length.

Idaho Boating Rules and Regulations

The Idaho boating laws, rules and regulations are not determined by the state DPR. Instead, certain counties have decided to create their own boating rules that regard age and safety requirements.

Overall, boaters must carry certain equipment on board when operating a motorboat or watercraft. For example, they need to carry visual distress signals, oar, bucket, approved fire extinguishers and backfire flame arrester for inboard motors.

Idaho Boating License Fees

Since the ID DPR does not require a boating license for residents to operate a watercraft, boaters are not required to pay any fees for these credentials. On the other hand, in the event that you opt for enrolling in a boaters safety course, you will be required to pay for the applicable fees regarding the program. Therefore, prior to taking a course, make sure to identify how much it costs and which fees you will need to pay to be issued a certificate of completion.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.