All you need to know about applications for your MO boating license / card / endorsement.

Missouri requires a Boater Education Card for boaters, and not a boating license. The regulatory authority for the card is the Missouri State Water Patrol. The card is mandatory for all boat operators (non-residents as well) born after January 1, 1984 to operate on Missouri waters.

There is no restriction on the age of boat operators. If you are under 14 years of age, you must have your Boater Education Card and a valid photo I.D. onboard, and operate the boat under the direct, onboard supervision of an adult, at least 16 years or older.

The laws also 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 similar convictions.


The following persons are exempt from the above requirements:

  • Non-resident boat operators possessing a valid boater education permit issued by the Missouri State Water Patrol. The requirement does apply to nonresidents (not an operator renting for 30 days or less, as your site states).
  • Operators renting a motorboat for 30 days or lesser. The boat rental company must instruct such operators on how to operate the boat safely and give them a summary of the boating law.


To obtain the Boater Education Card, you must complete a boating safety course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). 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 Missouri State Water Patrol, the U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron.
    • You must successfully pass the exam administered at the end of the course to obtain the certificate.
    • The courses taught by the Missouri State Water Patrol are free but there is a fee of $15 for the card.
  2. At the end of the class people who complete the program will receive an order form. Mail the order form with payment in the form of check or money order to the address listed on the form in order to receive your card.
  3. The number of students taken per class is limited. Enquire from the Water Patrol Education Coordinator at 573-751-3333 or email
  4. Only the card issued after a classroom course is recognized in most other states, and by many insurance companies for insurance discounts.
  5. Approved online course offered by Boat Ed.
  6. Course materials are free. Check the website for details on fees for exams or the card.
  7. A temporary card may be printed after passing the online exam; the permanent card will be mailed to you.


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


To replace a card, complete the form provided by the Missouri State Water Patrol with proof of course completion, full name, home address, date of birth, gender, phone number, who taught the course and where, and a check or money order for $15. 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. You will receive the duplicate card in 4-6 weeks time.


  • While liability insurance is not mandatory for boating in Missouri, 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.
  • Read the course material for the Boater Education Course.
  • See how to register your boat in Missouri.
  • Check the contact information of Missouri State Water Patrol.

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