Boating Safety Education

Wear It tennesseeThe Tennessee mandatory boating education law is similar to the driver’s license law. You acquire the study materials, study, and then take an approved boating safety exam administered by an approved representative of the TWRA.




  • Boating Education Law
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Renters of Watercraft
  • Courses
  • Other Information
  • Any Tennessee resident born after January 1, 1989 must show the TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate as proof of successful completion of the TWRA Boating Safety exam.  A copy of a Boating Safety Education Certificate

    No other certificate will be accepted as meeting the requirements of the law.

    If there is an adult on board (at least 18 years old, and if born after 1/1/89 possesses the certification) that can take immediate control of the vessel this certificate 
    is not required.

    Out of State Boaters

    If you were born after January 1, 1989, TWRA will accept any NASBLA approved boating safety certificate.

  • How do I take the exam?

    First, you must be at least 12 years old to take the exam. After studying the boating safety material, you must first purchase, for $10.00, a Type 600 boating safety exam permit from any business (license agent) that sells hunting and fishing licenses (WalMart sporting goods, bait stores, marinas, etc.).

    The receipt from this transaction is your "ticket" to take the exam. Try not to lose this receipt, it will admit you into an exam location and will also serve as a temporary certificate if you pass the exam.

    If you do not pass the exam, this receipt/"ticket" can continue to be used to take the exam as many times as it takes to pass. Try not to lose it!


    How do I study?

    There are many avenues to study:

    • You may call (615) 781-6682, e-mail, or write to Boating Division, TWRA, PO Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 and have study materials sent to you (free) and self study.
    • You may log onto and study online by clicking  “Study Guide” at the top of the page.
    • Boating Safety Class. There are many classroom classes offered throughout the state. See the map below for classes available in your area.


    How long does it take to complete the exam?

    Allow approximately one hour to take the exam.


    How long will it take to receive my wallet card?

    When you pass the exam, you will receive your wallet card in the mail within a few weeks.


    How do I replace my lost or stolen boating safety card? 

    If your boating safety card is lost or stolen, you may purchase a Type 605 license from a license agent for $5.00. The duplicate card will be mailed approximately 2 weeks from purchase date.

  • People who rent any type of watercraft are exempt from having the certification.  The renter is determined by the name that appears on the rental agreement.


  • A copy of the cover of Boat Tennessee Magazine.

    TWRA Affiliated Boating Courses


    Study & Take Practice Tests Online

    Boat TN Online


    Boat TN Home Study

    Call our Boating Education Office at (615) 781-6682 or send an e-mail for more information or to receive a home study book.

  • If your parents or someone else purchases the permit for you to take the exam, they must give your information to the sales agent. Otherwise the proper information will not match and you will not receive the boating safety certificate.