While a boating license is not needed in Nevada, certain boaters do need to obtain a Nevada boating card. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1983 must complete an approved boating education course to receive a Nevada boater education card. This card allows boat operators who were born during that period to operate a motorboat of more than 15 horsepower on Nevada’s interstate waters. Without that card, the boat owner is not legally able to operate the watercraft in Nevada.

This card/certificate can only be obtained after the completion of a boaters safety course that is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). Although the completion of the course is a requirement for those who were born in 1983 and later who wish to operate their vessel in Nevada, the course can also be taken by anyone who wishes to learn more about boating safety and techniques.

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

Instead of a license, Nevada requires a boat safety certificate to be obtained by certain individuals. This certificate is only required for anyone born on or after January 1, 1983. The certificate is not legally necessary for anyone born before that date.

In addition, Nevada has boating age requirements that must be followed. The age requirement to operate a personal watercraft is 14 years of age or older. However, there is no set minimum age requirement to operate any motor-powered vessel such as a motorboat.

Nevada Boat License Requirements

There is not a minimum boating license age required in Nevada in order for an applicant to obtain a safety certificate. Anyone that is competent enough to complete the course is able to participate and receive a safety card.

Also, it is important to note that the requirements that must be met in order to get the certificate are simply completing the course and paying any applicable fees.

Getting a Boat License in Nevada

The process for getting a boat card in Nevada is quite simple. You must find and enroll in an NASBLA- approved program, complete the course and pass the required exam. Once you have successfully passed the exam, you must pay the fee, if required, and then you will be presented with your certificate.

Nevada Boater Safety Courses

There are a few different boating classes available in the state, and they are offered by state agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons and private online companies. Select the course you wish to enroll in and then follow the instructions provided by that program for getting enrolled.

Once you enroll, you will be presented with information that you must study in order to pass the boat license examination. The test must be passed with a satisfactory score in order for you to be awarded with your completion certificate.

The information included in the course is generally the same regardless of the program. You will learn about Nevada boating laws, avoiding a negligent operation, boating maneuvers, launching and mooring, noise limitations, handling emergency situations and more.

Renewing and Replacing a Nevada Boating License

If you are asking, “Do boating licenses expire?” the answer is that the cards given in Nevada are good for life, so they do not have an expiration date. This is because they are education cards and not actual licenses so there is no need to renew them as they never expire.

Keep in mind that if your certificate was lost or destroyed, you must request a duplicate certificate. To do so, contact the organization that provided you with your card to learn about the steps you must take to get a replacement.

Nevada Boat Registration Basics

If you are a boat owner, you must complete the steps for boat registration for any boat you plan to operate in Nevada that requires registration. To do this, you must visit your nearest Nevada Department of Wildlife office and present certain documentation. This includes proof of ownership, proof of Social Security number, Manufacturers Statement of Origin (MSO) and more.

Before you are officially able to receive your boat registration stickers, you must also pay the applicable fee. The fees that must be paid for the registration vary based on the length of your watercraft. Also, keep in mind that after your registration expires, you will be responsible for getting it renewed.

Nevada Boating Rules and Regulations

Nevada has a plethora of boating regulations that must be understood and followed by all boat operators in the state. A few of these regulations include:

  • Age limits: A personal watercraft operator must be at least 14 years of age.
  • Pollution: No boat is permitted to discharge sewage, organic substances, wood byproduct, garbage or any substance harmful to fish or wildlife into the waters.
  • Restricted areas: No boat is permitted to operate within an area that is designated as restricted. Also, motorboats must not operate within 200 feet of any swimmers, and they must abide by all no-wake and speed limit signage.

Also, there are specific boat requirements in place regarding the equipment that is necessary. These requirements include that all vessels must have:

  • A minimum of one personal flotation device per passenger.
  • Fire extinguishers, unless you own an open construction boat that is less than 26 feet.
  • A lanyard cut-off switch attached to the operator on all personal watercraft.

Nevada Boating License Fees

Getting your education card will cost you the price of the boaters education course. Because each course varies in price, you must contact the education program directly in order to inquire about their required fees. While taking an online course will cost $30 on average, you can usually find a classroom-based NASBLA-approved course that is lower cost or even free of charge.

Last updated on Thursday, March 7 2019.

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