Anyone operating a motorboat, including a personal watercraft (pwc) or sailboat in Colorado must be at least 16 years old. Individuals who are 14 and 15 that have successfully completed a state-approved boating safety course, such as the one offered by Colorado State Parks, can operate a motorboat, jet ski, or sailboat in Colorado. The course is offered throughout the state and is open to adults as well as teens.
These classes fulfill the requirements for youth operation but are open to any safety-conscious boater. Not only will it help make you a safer boater, but it could save you 10-15% on your boat insurance!
Registration for the required Boating Safety review sessions must be made by using our
The "Boating Safely in Colorado" manual is a self-study manual that must be studied by the students prior to the review session. The manual will be available for digital download when registering for a review class.
Each student will be required to provide age verification in the form of government-issued identification (birth certificate, passport, driver's license, learners permit, state ID, etc) at the time of the class. Boat operator cards will be issued to students who attend the review session and pass the final exam with a score of 70 percent or more.
The certification fee is $15 per student and the student must bring a 1-by-1-inch photo, which will be laminated onto their operator card. Please note that a parent or guardian must attend the class with their 14 or 15 year old.
Anyone 16 years old or older may also take a web based boat safety class. Three that have approved content from the State of Colorado and NASBLA are BoatEd, BoaterExam and BoatU.S.
Boaterexam.com offers free "mini courses" on specific topics:
If you're traveling between states and would like to consult education and other requirements, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) has a handy reference guide