Mandatory Boater Education Law FAQs

Missouri's Boater Education Law went into effect January 1, 2005. The law states that any person born after January 1, 1984 must successfully pass a Missouri Boater Education class/test before operating any motorized vessel ON THE LAKES OF THE STATE.

The Water Patrol Division charges a $15.00 fee for the boater identification card, but there is no fee to take a classroom course conducted by a marine trooper. The Water Patrol Division has also contracted Boat-Ed to provide an approved online boating safety course. Additional fees are assessed by Boat-Ed for those who choose to take the online course.

How do I qualify to obtain a Missouri boater safety identification card?

You need to take a NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) approved course. This includes courses provided by marine troopers of the Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadron and Boat-Ed's online course for Missouri. For additional information on boater safety courses, click on the link below:

The classes are updated on a daily basis. The online course can be accessed from the above link as well. If you need any assistance in locating an approved course, please contact us Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm at 573-751-5071.

Who can take the Missouri boater education courses?

Any person may take one of the Missouri boater education courses. There is no age limit on who can take the course; however, that person should be able to follow the course material and understand the content. Missouri law states the operator of a boat must be 14 years of age unless accompanied by an adult on board the vessel. A child under 14 years of age operating a vessel (on the lakes of the state) with adult supervision would still need a boater identification card.

How do I order a card by mail?

A boater certification card may be ordered by mail with a check or money order. Please click on the link below to order a card by mail.

How do I order a card online?

A boater certification card may be ordered online by clicking on the link below:

Does Missouri have a temporary boater identification card?

Any person who rents or sells vessels may participate in the Patrol's temporary boater certification program. The temporary identification card is valid for seven days and is a one-time acquisition for a boater. For more information on the temporary boater certification program, please contact the Water Patrol Division Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm at 573-751-5071, or by emailing

Does the mandatory education law apply to the operation of a PWC (personal watercraft)?


If I lose my boater identification card, how do I obtain a new card?

You may obtain a new card by clicking on the link below:

If you are not listed in the system, you will need to contact the Water Patrol Division Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm at 573-751-5071, or by emailing

If I am an out of state resident, how do I comply with Missouri's mandatory education law?

Missouri's mandatory education law does apply to out of state boaters operating a vessel on our lakes. Out of state boaters may obtain a Missouri boater safety identification card by taking one of the courses approved in Missouri, or by providing proof of a NASBLA approved course provided by their home state. Possessing a boater identification card from their home state on board the vessel is sufficient as well.