Boating Safety (Education)

  • boating safety certificateBoaters born after June 30, 1996 and most personal watercraft operators who operate a vessel in Michigan must have a boater education card (boating safety certificate). There are a few different ways to earn your boating safety certificate:


    1. Take a boating safety class at
    2. Take and pass the final exam.
    3. Print out your permanent Michigan boating safety certificate once you have successfully completed the course and passed the exam.

    Classroom-based course:

    Find a classroom-based boater safety education course. You can enter your zip code to search for classes near you.

    Other Options:

    The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadron (also known as America's Boating Club) provide instruction to boaters at all levels (fundamental to advanced courses). Some classes will give you the knowledge you need to obtain a boating safety certificate and may be fee based.

    Although there are some people who do not need to obtain a boating safety certificate to legally operate a boat or personal watercraft, Michigan conservation officers and county sheriffs encourage eveyone operating a boat in Michigan to enroll in a course.

    See also:

Electric Shock Drowning (ESD)

  • Did you know that you are at risk by entering the water near a boat or dock powered by electricity? ESD can be deadly and is the result of a person coming into contact with an electrical current in the water. Stray voltage can come from boats or docks with faulty wiring, frayed cords and devices not approved as shore- or marine-rated. It can cause complete loss of muscle control, the inability to move and, ultimately, lead to drowning. ...

Learn more about ESD