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Boating and Water Safety Education

Boat North Dakota | Find Watercraft Safety Number/Reprint Card | Other

Boat North Dakota

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department offers the Boat North Dakota course for those who are new to boating or who wish to take a refresher. This course is required for youth ages 12-15 who want to operate by themselves a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor. There is no charge for the home-study course and your insurance company may offer a premium discount. The course is intended for anyone at least 11 1/2 years of age (Note: North Dakota law does not allow a youngster to operate a watercraft until age 12, therefore, a certification card will not be issued until the graduate is 12 years of age).

Course Options

  • Online Course
    Upon completion of the online course and test students can print a temporary certification card. A permanent card will be mailed within 30 days.
    • Get the online Boat North Dakota course from either of the sources below (Note: There is a fee for the online course. Click on one of the courses below to see costs.)
  • Boat North Dakota Paper Manual and Exam
    A Boat North Dakota course manual and a mail-in exam are available for free and may be ordered online. Completed paper exams should be mailed to the Department. A boater education card will be mailed within 10 days of passing the course.

Other Boating Safety Courses and Information

Kids Don't Float

Designed for youngsters ages 7-11, this course teaches safe boating practices, rules of the road, the dangers of hypothermia, and most important - how life jackets save lives. For more information about Kids Don't Float, contact:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offices in these cities: Bismarck, 701-255-0015; Jamestown, 701-252-7666; Valley City, 701-845-2970; Fargo, 701-232-1984; and Riverdale, 701-654-7411.

Download the Kids Don't Float brochure (1.4Mb PDF).

Paddle Sports Safety Course

Paddle sports such as stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing are increasing in popularity in North Dakota. The Department encourages anyone getting into these on-the-water activities to take this FREE online paddle sports safety course.

The course is a fun way to learn everything from “cockpit to keel” via colorful, accurate illustrations. If it’s got a paddle, it’s in this course. Sign up for free here.

Winter Ice Safety

Download the Safety on Ice brochure (440Kb PDF) - learn to tell good ice from bad, minimum thickness for various activities, and rescue techniques.