A boating license in Indiana is a credential that boaters must obtain in order to operate boats and vessels legally. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN DNR) requires residents to get a boat certification from the appropriate safety course, since they do not issue regular licenses for operating boats. Instead, individuals are mandated to enroll in a safety course and obtain a certificate that is needed when operating a boat or vessel.

Boaters need to discover the rules and requirements for getting a boater education card that they must satisfy in order to obtain the corresponding certification. Moreover, applicants must learn whether they are mandated to renew or replace their boat cards. To discover more information about how to get a boat safety certificate in Indiana and how to register their boats or vessels, continue reading the sections below.

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

Instead of issuing a license, the IN DNR requires residents to obtain a boaters course certificate of completion. The boat safety certificate will serve boaters as proof of their completed education for the operation of boats or water vessels. Therefore, individuals will have to get a certification as a credential that will prove their expertise of safe operation of boats, as well as their knowledge of boating rules and regulations.

Indiana Boat License Requirements

To obtain an Indiana boat safety certificate, residents must satisfy certain boat license requirements first. For instance, individuals may operate a motorboat only when they hold a valid driver’s license issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (IN BMV).

Moreover, applicants must satisfy the main boating license age requirement which allows applicants to operate a motorboat when they are at least 15 years of age. Individuals who are at least 15 years of age and who do not hold a valid driver’s license may operate a motorboat only if they hold an ID card or a photo exempt ID card, and if they have successfully completed a boating education course approved by the IN DNR.

Furthermore, motorists who are at least 21 years of age and do not hold either a valid driver’s license, nor a driver’s license that is suspended or revoked, may also operate a motorboat if they are issued ID cards before January 1, 1996.

Getting a Boat License in Indiana

When wondering how to get a boating license in Indiana, individuals need to know that getting such a credential is not needed because they may be allowed to operate a motorboat by satisfying the above-mentioned requirements. In short, adult motorists who are getting a boat license are required to have a driver’s license issued by the IN BMV.

However, when minor applicants who are at least 15 years of age want to get a license or certification, they need to provide an ID card and complete a boaters course approved by the IN DNR.

Indiana Boater Safety Courses

Enrolling in a boater safety course in Indiana is a requirement that motorists must satisfy in a situation when they have never been issued a driver’s license by the IN BMV. Boaters must complete such course when they are at least 15 years of age. Completing the boating course successfully and holding a BMV-issued ID card will enable boaters to operate motorboats legally without the driver’s license.

Note: When individuals have their driving licenses suspended, they may be required by court to successfully complete a boating course in order to end the suspension. Moreover, completing such course may also refund a part or the whole fine that has been paid by the person who committed the crime for which the license was suspended.

Renewing and Replacing an Indiana Boating License

In most cases, when a license is approaching its expiration date, it must be renewed. However, since boating license is not required for the operation of motorboats, individuals are encouraged to learn whether they need to renew only their driver’s licenses or their boat cards as well. Therefore, if you are wondering “Do boating licenses expire?”, discover more information about the renewal possibility of a driver’s license, or of a boater education card.

To replace a lost boater safety card or certificate, boaters may be able to log in the course and print a new one. However, if the course provider does not offer this option, individuals need to contact the provider and discover a method for getting a replacement.

Indiana Boat Registration Basics

A boat registration in Indiana is a legal document issued by the IN BMV that boaters must possess when they own a motorboat. Moreover, all boats and water vessels in Indiana must be registered, unless they are otherwise exempt. To obtain a DMV boat registration certificate, individuals must submit proof of ownership to the IN BMV, such as a title certificate.

However, when IN residents do not have a title as proof of ownership, they may provide a completed Watercraft Ownership Affidavit (state form 55100). After completing the watercraft registration procedure, the IN BMV issues a certificate of registration along with a registration number and two decals for each registration.

Indiana Boating Rules and Regulations

Boaters who have completed the boating classes or who have held a valid driver’s license issued by the IN BMV must obey certain boating rules and regulations. For instance, as part of the boat requirements, no individual who is younger than 15 years of age will be allowed to operate a motorboat or watercraft. Furthermore, according to the regulations, boaters who are at least 15 years of age will have to complete a boaters course and provide a valid ID card.

Indiana Boating License Fees

Getting a boat license or a certification in Indiana does not have a set price that boaters must pay. However, they may expect to pay a fee or around $30 for the boaters safety course, depending on the course provider. Therefore, prior to making a payment, individuals are recommended to contact their course provider and inquire about more information about the price they have to pay.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.