Boating Education

Any person under the age of 21 who wishes to operate a vessel designed to be propelled by a motor or sail (motorboat, PWC, sailboat, sailboard) without being under direct and audible supervision must complete an approved boater education course.

Direct and audible supervision is defined as a person on board the same vessel and in sufficiently close proximity of the operator's station to enable such person to quickly and safely assume control of such vessel if needed. (KSA 32-1125e) The supervising adult must be at least 18 years of age and either have completed a boater education course or be exempt because they are over the age of 21. No one under the age of 12 may operate a motorized vessel without direct and audible supervision regardless of boater education certification. There is no minimum age to operate a sailboat if the operator has successfully passed an approved boating education course.

You can meet Kansas' Boater Education requirement by taking and passing an approved boating education course (classroom, online, or internet assisted home study.) 

PWCs and Motorboats

This includes any vessel powered by a motor, including a trolling motor. Anyone between the ages of 12 and 20 must complete an approved boater education course in order to operate these vessels without being under direct and audible supervision (see definition above). No person under the age of 12 may operate a motorized vessel without being under direct and audible supervision even if they have completed an approved boater education course.


Anyone 20 years of age and under must complete an approved boater education course in order to operate a sailboat without being under direct and audible supervision (see definition above). There is no minimum age to operate a sailboat if the person has completed an approved boater education course.


Taking a formal boating education course is not required to operate a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard in the state of Kansas, although offers a great FREE online Paddle Sports Safety Course.  Click HERE to learn more about paddling safely in Kansas.

Certification Options

There are three options to obtain your Kansas Boater Safety Education Certification: Homestudy Packet, Online, and Classroom.

Homestudy Packet

If you do not have access to the internet, you may request a Homestudy Packet by contacting Chelsea Hofmeier at  or 620-672-0770.  If you are choosing this method of certification, please be aware that it takes about 1-2 weeks for your certification to be processed and issued.  If you require certification sooner than 2 weeks from when you send in your completed homestudy packet, taking one of the online courses listed below might be a better option. 

Online Courses 

Online courses are offered because classes are not always available or students may not be able to attend specific dates and times.  The online options is not meant to be easy or quick, the intent is to be convenient.  Students may study at home at their own pace and complete the exam when they feel comfortable with the material.  NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) standards require that all online courses are at least three hours in duration and each section must be completed.  The pages are timed and bypassing material is not an option.  The purpose of the course is to gain knowledge and become a safe boater while you earn you certification.

There are five approved online courses available to receive your Kansas Boater Education Certificate. Costs vary for each course, but the advantage is an immediate printable temporary card upon payment once you have passed the online exam.

Automatically Sends you a hard card
Practice Quizzes
Course Features
Time Frame to Complete Course
Additional Fees
Customer Service Contact
Boat U.S. Foundation No Fee No Yes Study material provided in online course manual. Certificate comes in a printable PDF format. 6 Months May purchase a hard card for $15 1-800-245-2628 ext. 3208
Boat-Ed $44.95 Yes Yes Animated and narrated study guide, designed to work on any device. 90 Days None 1-800-830-2268
Boater Exam $39.95 Yes Yes Fully animated and narrated study guide, with visuals for exam questions. Designed to work on any device. 90 Days None 1-866-764-2628
BOATsmart! $39.95 Yes No Animated and narrated course. No Expiration Date None 1-877-655-7778
I Learn To Boat $59.95 Yes Yes Interactive video course. 90 Days None 1-800-830-2268
Kansas Regional Map

Classroom courses are offered in various locations across the state throughout the year.  Scheduled classes are listed below by region.

5/18/24 - KDWP
Kansas Boating Education Course
(Clinton Marina)

Council Grove Boater Safety Certification

Council Grove City Lake Park is owned and maintained by the City of Council Grove.  Lake safety for all patrons is the highest priority for the Council Grove City Council.  The Kansas Division of Wildlife Parks and Tourism and the City of Council Grove Police Force are responsible for boating rules/regulations /ordinances enforcement at the Council Grove City Lake.  The City of Council Grove retains the authority to enact rules/regulations that can supersede KDWPT rules/regulations if more restrictive. This study guide is provided for lake patrons to enhance and subsequently demonstrate their knowledge of boating safety at Council Grove City Lake.

For more information regarding Council Grove City Lake, please visit


The following review of rules/regulations/ordinances and the ensuing 15-question knowledge exam are intended to enhance city lake patron's knowledge of KDWPT regulations applicable to all Kansas boating lakes and ordinances that are specific and unique to the Council Grove City Lake. The 15-question exam is correctable to 100%. If you select an incorrect answer, simply read and understand the correct answer that is displayed, re-select the correct answer and continue with the exam. 

The certificate of completion, which is required to obtain a Council Grove City Lake permit and decal, can be printed or saved electronically to a smart device. The certificate of completion shall be readily available for examination by law enforcement personnel.

Replacement Cards

Regardless of how you completed the Kansas Boating Safety Course (Online, Classroom, or Homestudy), please visit to look up your record and order a replacement card. 

Please call 620-672-0770 if you have any questions.

Become an Instructor

Thank you for your interest in the Kansas Boating Education Course (KBEC). Offering this program to Kansas’ boaters is one of the most important duties of the Boating Education Section of KDWPT. The goals of the course include the reduction of boating accidents and violations, promotion of boating risk management and enhancing the quality of boating through wise use of Kansas’ aquatic resources. Your efforts will help further these goals through education by increasing the availability of the Kansas Boater Safety Course.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some common questions.

If I have a boater education card from another state, do I have to also take a Kansas course?

answer: No, if the card you have is from a NASBLA approved course, we will accept that as meeting our education requirement. Make sure you are familiar with Kansas laws and requirements before you get on the water.

I forgot I needed Boating Education and I would like to go the lake this weekend. What do I do?

answer: The fastest way to receive your Boating Education Certificate is to take an internet course. There are four approved companies that we accept and these can be found on the Certification Options page.

I have an old paper Boating Education card and it's almost illegible from water, weather, and wear. Can I get a new one?

answer: Yes. If you took the home study course before 2006, you most likely were issued a paper card. New hard plastic cards were issued starting in 2006. Please see the replacement cards page for details.

I lost my card. How can I get a new one?

If you took the home study course or attended a class, call the Boating Education Coordinator at the Pratt Office at 620-672-0770. If you took an online course, you will need to contact the company who issued your original card. 

How long will it take to get my card once I send in my test?

During the summer months, cards are processed at least twice a week. During the winter months, it's about once a week. 

What is the minimum age to operate a boat in Kansas without supervision as long as the operator has passed an approved education course?

Depends on the type of boat. For a motorized vessel, including PWCs the minimum age is 12. For sailboats without a motor there is no minimum age. For paddle craft (kayaks, canoes, row boats) with no motor attached there is no minimum age and boater education is not required.