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How to Apply For a Boating License in Vermont

Vermont requires users to complete an approved boater safety course, and not a boating license. The regulatory authority for the course is the Vermont State Police. The course is mandatory for all boat operators born after January 1, 1974.

If you are under 12 years of age, you cannot operate a vessel that has a power greater than 6 Horsepower. This goes even for those who have completed the boater safety course. Those below the age of 16 years cannot operate a PWC even after completing the boater safety course.

The boating laws of the state prevent users from boating while intoxicated (BWI). The legal limit of alcohol concentration is 0.08% and if arrested for a higher concentration, harsh penalties may be imposed on the operator, based on the severity of the offense as well as the previous number of such convictions. This can include a fine or imprisonment. The law also prohibits operators under the age of 21 years from operating a vessel with more than 0.02% of blood alcohol content.


The following persons are exempt from the above requirements:

  • Boat operators possessing a valid boaters' license issued by the U.S Coast Guard.
  • Operators using their boats on a private lake or pond.
  • Operators who are not residents of Vermont but have successfully completed a boater education course in any other state.


To obtain the Boating Certification Card, you must complete a boater education course approved by the Vermont State Police.
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. Operators younger than 10 years of age are not eligible for a boating certificate. For those below 12 years it is mandatory to take a classroom course.
There are various approved ways you can complete the course and obtain the card:

  1. Classroom options offered by Vermont State Police. You can check the state website for details on the course.
    • The course duration may vary from one to three days.
  2. The Boater Education Card is either handed out at the end of class, or mailed to you.
  3. Only the card issued after a classroom course is recognized in most other states, and by many insurance companies for insurance discounts.
  4. Approved online option offered by Boat Ed.
  5. Course materials may be free. The provider may charge a fee for exams or the card: check providers' websites for details.
  6. 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, you can email the Vermont state Police at with proof of course completion, date of birth, hair color, eye color, current mailing address, date and place where the course was taken. The email should contain the subject line "Lost Boating Certification Card".


  • While liability insurance is not mandatory for boating in Vermont, 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 Vermont.
  • Check the contact information of the Vermont State Police.

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