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Boater education becomes mandatory for some vessel operators after July 1

Boater education becomes mandatory for some vessel operators after July 1

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (June 10, 2014) –What do you know about life jacket safety, the 100-foot law, minimum age limits for boat operators, boating under the influence?

These are just a few examples of things you should know before operating a vessel on public waters, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division. How important is boater education? So important that beginning July 1st, completion of a boater education course will become mandatory for all vessel operators born on or after January 1, 1998. “In an effort to provide a mechanism for ensuring that Georgia boaters are knowledgeable, boaters will be required to complete a boating education course,” says DNR Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver, assistant director of Law Enforcement. “After all, tragedy can happen quickly and making an effort to learn boating laws, rules and regulations can potentially save a life – including your own.”

This new boater education requirement states that any persons born on or after January 1, 1998 that operate any motorized vessel on the waters of the state must have completed a boat education course approved by the Department prior to such operation. A person is exempt if he or she is:
• A person licensed by the Coast Guard as a master of a vessel;
• A person operating on a private pond or lake;
• A non-resident who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a NASBLA- approved boater education course or equivalency examination from another state.

How can you take a boater education course? There are three easy ways – classroom, online or home study program. Find out more at

For information on the mandatory boater education requirement, including a new video, visit