Do You Need A License To Drive A Boat In Pennsylvania?

Are you a resident of Pennsylvania and want to drive a boat? There is absolutely no problem with that until and unless you know what the requirements are. There is a set of rules and regulations that you must follow strictly. Not just that, you also need to complete and pass a boaters course and get officially certified with an approved license.

Who Requires A Boating License And Certification?

Just like for driving a car or any vehicle, a license is required; similarly, to drive a boat in Pennsylvania, it is very crucial and necessary to be officially certified and to possess a boater’s license. As per the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, anyone who has a date of birth or after January 1st, 1982, necessarily requires a Boater education card to drive a boat with motors of over 25 Horsepower in Pennsylvania.

Not just that, if any person owns and drives a personal watercraft (PWC), it is required for them to have proper certification and hold an attested boater’s license at all costs regardless of age. The boaters are required to keep these Boater education certificates with them whenever they operate a personal watercraft or boat.

These education certificates must all be issued by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The out-of-state boaters must hold a certification approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

Taking the Boaters Courses for Certification

If you are wondering that you will get the boater’s certificate or education card simply through registering yourself and then getting a boater’s card or certificate in your name, then you are wrong. To attain proper certification and licensing, you must take the Boater safety course at

To complete this course, the first step is the interactive course. For the entire course, you need to study boating and watercraft and all that is required. The interactive course is all fun and games till you pass and become eligible to take the final exam. If not vast, you need to have at least an adequate amount of knowledge about boating and watercraft, to pass this final exam.

You will be given multiple chances to take the test over and over again until finally, you pass the test, which results in you becoming an officially certified and licensed boater. The Boaters education certificate signifies that you have successfully passed the course and are eligible for driving watercraft for a good life.

Boating Age Requirements

As a part of the Pennsylvanian boating rules and regulations, there are specified age groups that are eligible to be licensed and actually drive a boat within the premises of Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, it is strictly advised that no one at the age of 11 years or below can drive a motor-powered vessel of 25 horsepower.

However, there are exceptions in this case for the out-of-state boaters. They are exempt from getting their Pennsylvania boating safety certificate if they are driving in Pennsylvania’s premises for less than 60 days or if they are already certified from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) back from their home state.


Boating can be very fun and is becoming a norm all over the world. However, it is still important for you to obtain a boaters license in order to be certified and drive a boat without any illegalities.