Adventures In Boating Course

Photo by Drew Dau

With so many lakes in the Spokane and Stevens County area (over 100), it is no wonder why boating is such a popular pastime in our area. However, as with most activities, boating is not without its dangers and accidents that occur. This is why Spokane County Sheriff is offering mandatory boating education classes.  

Since  2014, every person born after January 1st, 1955, is required to have the Boater Education Card to operate any vessel with 15 or more horsepower.  To get that card, they must complete a free boating safety course and pay a small fee of $10 to Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.    

 The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit sent out an invitation to attend their FREE Washington State Boater Education Classes called Adventures In Boating Course. Classes are held from 9am to 4pm at the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Training Center at 6011 N Chase Rd, Newman Lake, WA 99025. 

 Dates of Classes Are:

  • April 30th
  • May 14th
  • June 11th
  • June 25th
  • July 9th
  • August 13th

Pre-Registration Is recommended and you can register at DPGazette.com/boatingcourse 

The Washington State Boater Education Card is valid for your lifetime and meets the requirements for recreational boating in Canada and many other states.  However, this does not mean that you will get in trouble if you have a paddle or row boat you are taking out.

 Do I Need A Boater Education Card?

You are required by law to carry a Boater Education Card if you fit the following criteria:

  • You operate a vessel with a 15-horsepower (or greater) motor.
  • You were born after January 1st, 1955.
  • You are 12 years of age or older.

You are exempt if you fit the following criteria:

  • You were born before January 1st, 1955.
  • You are an operator of a commercial fishing boat and able to show a valid commercial license.
  • You can show a valid U.S. Coast Guard Marine Operator License.
  • You are renting a boat, have completed a watercraft safety checklist provided by the vendor, and have been issued a temporary card which you must carry with you.
  • You operate a government vessel exempt from state registration.
  • You are practicing or engaging in a permitted racing event, as long as permitting documentation is available upon inspection at the event site.

You have a sixty-day exemption period if you fit the following criteria:

  • You are visiting from another state or country and boating for less than 60 days. After 60 days, you must have a Washington State Boater Education Card.
  • You hold a valid boater education card from another state. You will need to contact us to confirm if it’s valid.
  • You have recently purchased your boat and can show the bill of sale with the date of purchase. After 60 days, you must have a Washington State Boater Education Card.

You Must Carry the Card

Vessel operators who must have the Washington Boater Card must carry the card onboard the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer.  Not carrying your Washington Boater Card when required can result in a fine.

Can’t Make it to the Boating Course?

You can study and pass a state-approved boating safety course or equivalency exam using one of the following options: Instructor-led Courses (like Adventure In Boating), equivalency exam, hands-on training courses, home study course, or an online course.

Once you pass your course or equivalency exam, you will be provided with a Certificate of Completion. If provided with an electronic copy, be sure to print it. This is your proof of passing the course.

You can learn more at: Parks.wa.gov/442/Mandatory-Boater-Education

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