South Dakota offers boating licenses for residents to enjoy state waterways with motorized vessels. Various rules are established that must be followed by drivers. These regulations are developed by the state Game, Fish and Parks Department. Maintaining safety laws helps ensure that natural areas are conserved. Additionally, these rules help keep boaters and swimmers safe when practicing water sports. Understanding how to get a boating license in the state is important for residents who would like to become certified boaters.

Drivers can choose from various application methods for boating privileges. Online boating license courses are available for the convenience of residents. Additionally, in-person courses are offered. Costs for classes vary, depending on the agency offering services. Find out more about acquiring boater rights in South Dakota by reading the following sections.

Do you need a license to drive a boat in South Dakota?

Getting a boat license is not required to legally operate motorized water vessels in South Dakota. However, taking boaters safety courses is very useful for new drivers. These courses help residents learn how to safely operate watercraft and following important laws.

Residents who have completed safety courses should keep their official certification documents on hand when using boats or watercraft. The process to get an education certificate may begin when drivers understand the eligibility requirements for operating boats.

South Dakota Boating License Requirements

Although boating permits are not required for drivers to operate motorized water vessels, relevant laws still apply. Residents must adhere to age restrictions for operating watercraft. For example, children can only operate water vessels under the supervision of a certified adult.

All requirements and laws must be followed by boaters. Otherwise, tickets and fines could be assessed by law enforcement.

Getting a Boating License in South Dakota

In South Dakota, boater education cards are acquired by those who successfully apply for boating privileges in the state. The process requires a specific amount of hours spent by residents in class or taking the online course.

Understanding the application process is imperative for boaters to efficiently and fully complete all necessary tasks. The certification steps for SD boat operators are as follows:

  1. Choose whether online or in-person classes are more fitting to your schedule.
  2. Find exact courses by searching for agencies offering boater education. Classes must be approved by the state to be considered valid.
  3. Attend class for the exact amount of hours needed.
  4. Prepare for the final examination. Go over all concepts covered during the course. Additionally, read and understand the boaters guide in the state.
  5. Pass the boat card exam, administered after the required class time is completed. Students must answer a certain amount of questions correctly to pass.
  6. Pay the required fees and collect the physical certificate.

South Dakota Boater Safety Courses

South Dakota offers online boaters safety courses and in-person instruction to new boaters in the state. Both forms of education provide important concepts that should be followed by students when operating motorized vehicles. The following subjects are covered during education classes:

  • Safely navigating waterways throughout SD
  • Reacting to emergency boating situations
  • Boating laws and regulations
  • Practicing water sports legally

Renewing and Replacing South Dakota Boating Licenses

According to ND state law, boater exam certification forms must stay on drivers when operating motorized water vessels. Replacement should occur immediately if certificates are lost or stolen. Law enforcement may assess fines and/or tickets if boaters fail to produce documents when necessary.

An official request for a replacement card can be submitted to the Game and Fish Department. However, new online certificates can only be obtained through the agency where they were administered. Drivers should contact these institutions directly to receive replacements.

South Dakota Boat Registration Basics

Boat registration is necessary for purchased watercraft and boats in South Dakota. Valid boat titles are also required.

Drivers must meet eligibility standards in order to have requests accepted by the state. To prove their title and registration eligibility, applicants should provide the following forms of documentation:

After approval by the state, boat registration stickers are mailed to residents who own boats or watercraft. These stickers should be placed on water vessels and/or boats in the appropriate areas. A replacement is obtainable for boaters who have lost official documents. Residents can request forms by contacting the state boating agency directly.

South Dakota Boating Rules and Regulations

In South Dakota, boating regulations are developed to ensure residents are safe when operating motorized water vessels. These rules are established by the state and must be adhered to by all boaters.

These laws are used to protect boaters and swimmers in the state. Additionally, they help conserve natural areas. Drivers should understand and follow these rules to avoid being ticketed or fined by law enforcement. Some of the boating laws in South Dakota include:

  • Boats over 12 feet long must be registered with the state.
  • Boat registration is good for one year.
  • Boats and personal watercraft should not be operated under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Bells and whistles should be maintained on boats above 12 feet.
  • Fire extinguishers should be maintained on boats.
  • Lifejackets should be worn on board, when necessary. Additionally, lifejackets should be kept on board in case of emergency. One jacket per passenger is required.

South Dakota Boating License Fees

Boating certificate fees in South Dakota vary widely. They can range from free to costing a nominal fee. The rate depends on the learning method chosen by students. The agency that offers courses maintains the rate for classes.

Depending on the agency offering education courses, drivers may be eligible to obtain replacements for a small fee. This cost varies among institutions.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.