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The BoatUS Foundation has a free online course that keeps Virginia powerboaters safe and also meets mandatory boating safety education requirements.

Virginia Power-boaters & PWC Drivers Need Boating Safety Education by July 1

BoatUS Foundation Online Course Cost: $0

On July 1, all Virginia operators of motorboats over 10HP and personal watercraft will need to comply with a 2007 state law by taking a boating safety education course. To help them easily meet the requirement, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water offers a no cost, online course that can be taken at home and paused and restarted at any time at

“The boating safety education requirement began in 2007 and is now fully implemented on July 1 for all ages of operators” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Education Amanda Suttles Pérez. “Our online course is great for busy schedules and is the only free online boating safety course approved by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.”

Boaters who successfully pass the course can print their own Certificate of Completion or order a plastic boater education card for a $10 fee. This course completion certificate or card must be kept within a boater’s possession when boating along with picture identification. Passing the course could earn a discount on a boat’s or PWC’s insurance policy.

The course includes interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating. Videos demonstrate important safety devices such as visual distress signals, how to get help in an emergency, how to prevent and extinguish fires aboard your boat, and tips on how to fit a life jacket to a child.

To see a range of online courses, go to


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