Boating Safety Education Information and Courses - WVDNR (2024)

West Virginia is home to wide-open lakes, expansive rivers and tranquil streams. With more than 2,000 miles of navigable, fishable streams, its easy to see why Almost Heaven is a popular boating destination. Throughout the state you’ll 21 large lakes, 41 small impoundments as well as 30 ponds that are managed by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. These beautiful, flowing waters are available for boating, outdoor recreation and memory making adventures.

Before heading out, it’s important to know the rules of the waters in West Virginia. Anyone born on or after Dec. 31, 1986 must successfully complete a Boating Safety Education Course before operating a motorboat or personal watercraft upon the waters of this state (20-7-12b).

The certificate must have been obtained by satisfactorily completing a course of instruction in boating safety education administered by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary; the United States Power Squadron; the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources; any person certified to teach the course administered by West Virginia Division of Natural Resources boating safety education section personnel; or any person authorized to teach the course prescribed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in this or any other state.Course topics include: boating terminology, boat types, capacities, registration requirements, safety equipment required such as life jackets, navigation rules and preserving a safe marine environment.

For Information aboutFREEclasses in your area, visit the boating education registration link at

For those unable to attend traditional courses, approved online courses are available with a vendor-associated fee.

Additional Resources

Boating Safety Education Information and Courses - WVDNR (1)

Approved Online Boater Education Courses:

Free Paddle Sports Course:

Lost or misplaced your boater education card?

If you have lost or misplaced your boater education card, contact your local WVDNR Law Enforcement Office, pick up an application for a duplicate card, complete it, and mail it along with a $10 check or money order to one of the addresses listed on the application. Click this link to obtain anApplication for Lost Boater Education Cardin a printable PDF file format. If there is no record of your completion of the boater education class, the $10 will be returned to you.

Check Current Stream Conditions in West Virginia Waters

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Boating Safety Education Information and Courses - WVDNR (2024)


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