OAKHURST – California law requires that by 2025, anyone operating a motor-powered vessel on California waterways take a boater safety course and obtain a California Boater Card.
Vessel operators ages 16-25 are required to have a California Boater Card as of January 2018. All ages will be required to have the card in 2025.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is hosting their second annual California Boater Card class at Oakhurst Community College, Room OC11, on Saturday, Apr. 13, from 1 to 5 p.m.
The class will be taught by members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Study materials and tuition are free, and all ages are welcome.
Please reserve your spot ASAP as seats are limited. Preregister by emailing Cpl. Amy Roussell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This class of instruction meets the requirement for California Boater Card Education. Students will send in their completed tests to California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways.
Upon receiving a passing score, a certificate will be issued to the student by California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW). With that certificate, an official California Boater Card will be issued to the student. Fees will apply to obtain the card, which is valid for a lifetime with no renewal fees.
As of the dates shown below, these boaters will be required to carry a boater card issued by DBW, unless they meet certain exemptions.
California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 678.11(b) contains the following phase-in schedule based on operator age:
- Jan. 1, 2018- Persons 20 years of age or younger
- Jan. 1, 2019 – Persons 25 years of age or younger
- Jan. 1, 2020 – Persons 35 years of age or younger
- Jan. 1, 2021 – Persons 40 years of age or younger
- Jan. 1, 2022 – Persons 45 years of age or younger
- Jan. 1, 2023 – Persons 50 years of age or younger
- Jan. 1, 2024 – Persons 60 years of age or younger
- Jan. 1, 2025 – All persons regardless of age
According to California law the following persons are not required to have a boater card to operate a motorized vessel on California waterways:
- A person operating a rental vessel.
- A person operating a vessel while under the direct supervision of a person 18 years of age or older who is in possession of a California Boater Card.
- A person who is a resident of a state other than California who is temporarily operating a vessel in California for less than 60 days and meets the boating requirements, if any, of his/her state.
- A person who is a resident of a country other than the United States who is temporarily operating a vessel in California for less than 90 days and meets the boating requirements, if any, of his/her country.
- A person operating a vessel in an organized regatta or vessel race, or water ski race.
- A person who is in possession of a current commercial fishing license.
- A person who is in possession of a valid marine operator license, for the waters upon which the licensee is operating, issued by the United States Coast Guard, or who is in possession of a valid certificate issued pursuant to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended.
- A person who has successfully completed a boating course approved by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training Post.
For more information about the California Boater Card visit californiaboatercard.com.
The Oakhurst Community College is located at 40241 Highway 41.