A boating license in Illinois is a document that boaters need to possess if they want to operate boats or water vessels legally. For that reason, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IL DNS) requires IL residents to possess a boat safety certificate after they complete the appropriate safety course. A safety course is an education program that teaches individuals how to operate a boat or vessel properly and safely, without endangering other boaters.

Prior to getting a boat license certificate from the corresponding course provider, individuals may have to satisfy certain requirements, such as age, residency or mandatory documents. Moreover, boaters may also need to learn how to register and title their boats or vessels, if they own one. To discover more information about “How long does it take to get a boating license certificate in Illinois?”, continue reading the sections below.

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

If wondering whether a boating license is needed for operation of boat or vessel, residents need to know that the IL DNS requires boaters to possess a boating certificate from a boaters safety course provider. Boaters, both old and new, must possess the certificate of completion if they want to operate boats and vessels on open water territories in Illinois.

Overall, the purpose of holding an IL boat certification is to help residents avoid penalties if caught operating a boat or vessel without previously obtaining the needed certificate of a completed course.

Illinois Boat License Requirements

To get a boat certification in Illinois, boaters may be expected to satisfy certain requirements first. Primarily, residents who are at least 10 years of age may operate a boat or a vessel, but they will be allowed to operate the watercraft only under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian until they turn 12 years of age. After that, boaters who are between 12 and 18 years of age will be mandated to complete a boaters safety course, which lasts eight hours, in order to get a Certificate of Competency.

According to state law, persons within that boating license age range may operate a motorboat only if they hold a valid State of Illinois Boating Education Certificate of Competency which is sanctioned by the Safety Education Section of the IL DNS. Moreover, they may also be allowed to operate a motorboat only when accompanied by a parent or guardian, or by a person who is at least 18 years of age and designated by the parent or guardian.

Getting a Boat License in Illinois

Illinois residents who want to operate a boat or vessel must obtain a boat certification from a course provider, because licenses are not issued by the IL DNS. For that reason, individuals are encouraged to enroll in a boaters education safety course and take the needed classes either in a classic classroom setting or via an online course provider.

The Illinois boating course is created for persons who are at least 12 years of age or older to receive the needed certificate of completion and to be able to operate a boat or vessel without endangering the other boaters’ safety.

Illinois Boater Safety Courses

The Illinois safety course is an education program of at least eight hours of instruction on how to operate a boat or vessel. Moreover, the boating education courses cover state boating regulations, requirements, equipment, safety, navigation, emergency situations, as well as motorboat registration and title procedures. IL residents who are between 12 and 18 years of age must complete the minimum requirement of eight-hour instruction course and complete the final examination in order to get a State of Illinois Certificate of Competency.

Boating lessons may be taken at various civic organizations, at park districts, schools or at the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons. The instructor-led boating classes require applicants to attend eight hours of classroom education, which may be either taught in one day or spread over several days. At the end of the course, boaters will have to pass a final exam in order to pass the class successfully.

Furthermore, they may also take an online boaters safety course, which is available to individuals who want to study on their own and at their pace. After each chapter of the course, boaters will have to complete reviews. At the end of the online classes, they will also be required to pass a final exam. Boaters who pass the self-study course will get the boat certification in the mail.

Renewing and Replacing an Illinois Boating License

Boaters who have lost their Illinois boat safety certificate may be able to obtain a replacement card by reprinting it. Moreover, they may also utilize the online service to look up their safety certification number by providing their full names and dates of birth in the IL DNS system.

Failure to get a replacement boater education card may require boaters to submit certain information to the IL DNS in order to have the DNS representatives conduct a physical search of the files. To discover the answer to the question “Do boating licenses expire in Illinois?”, boaters are encouraged to contact their safety course provider and inquire whether they need to renew their certificates within a given timeframe or not.

Illinois Boat Registration Basics

Boat or vessel owners are required to obtain a boat registration in Illinois in order to operate the watercraft legally and to avoid future inconveniences when pulled over by a law enforcement official. When performing a DMV boat registration procedure, boaters will be required to complete the appropriate application form and to provide the title and registration from the previous owner, as well as the certificate of origin from the manufacturer. In addition, applicants for a watercraft registration will also have to discover the sales tax and pay it along with the applicable registration and title fees.

Illinois Boating Rules and Regulations

Boaters who have obtained an Illinois boater safety card as proof of completion of the safety course have already satisfied certain rules and regulations imposed by the IL DNS. The boating rules and regulations include age and safety requirements, as well as certain boating laws that determine the penalties for operating a boat or vessel with the appropriate documentation.

IL residents must be at least 10 years of age to operate a boat or vessel under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian. However, the boat requirements for persons between 12 and 18 years of age require individuals to obtain a boater certificate as the main criteria for operating a boat or a vessel.

Illinois Boating License Fees

Boaters who are enrolling in a boaters safety course in order to get the needed certificate of completion for operating boats and vessels may or may not be required to pay certain fees. To discover whether boaters must submit payment for getting a boat certification in Illinois, you need to contact the course provider that issues the certificates.

Last updated on Thursday, March 7 2019.

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