In March of 2008, NASBLA surveyed its membership on
the question of reciprocity and determined that 96 percent of
states accept other states’ certificates or courses for boating safety.
Only five or six states place limitations on reciprocity because
they require proctored examinations, have different minimum age
requirements, or have some other restrictions on boat operation.
Fair enough, but the devil, as they say, is usually lurking in the
Reciprocity Is Where You Find It
When it comes to boater education requirements, the details
can vary widely among states, so boaters who may be traveling
out of their home waters — either afloat or with boat on trailer —
should be sure to review the education requirements in the state or
states on their itineraries. Consider these hypothetical scenarios
based on a BoatU.S. Government Affairs Department review of
Jim: Ohio resident, age 21
Question: Jim passed the Ohio course five years ago and now
he wants to trailer his boat to Florida for a two-week fishing
vacation. Will Florida honor Jim’s Ohio certification?
Yes. To operate a boat with a motor over 10hp, Florida requires
anyone born after January 1, 1988, including visitors, to have in their
possession proof of passing a NASBLA-approved safety course. Thus,
Florida honors Ohio’s certificate and Jim need take no further action
(except to be sure he has his card with him).
Trudy: Maine resident, age 68
Boat: 46-foot trawler
Education: Maine does not have a mandatory boater education
requirement. Trudy passed a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary basic
boating course 30 years ago but doesn’t have any proof of successfully passing the course.
Question: Trudy plans to cruise to Florida for the winter. Will
she be in compliance with the laws of the 14 states she’ll pass
Each state’s education requirements are a little different from the
next, and New Hampshire and New Jersey pose the greatest challenges
for Trudy. New Hampshire requires anyone who operates a boat over
25hp on its waters to have a NASBLA-approved boating certificate. New
Jersey, on the other hand, allows operation in its waters for up to 90
days, but only if the operator possesses a boating safety certificate from
his or her own state of residence (whether or not you need it at home). So
despite the fact that Maine has no boater education requirement, Trudy
needs to find another way to comply with the laws of these two states, or
perhaps bypass their waters altogether.
The Esperanza Family: California residents
Boat: Inboard ski boat on trailer
Education: California has no mandatory education requirement.
Question: The Esperanzas plan to trailer their boat to Oregon
Ge T more run for your money.
Cast for cast, pound for pound, nobody offers a more challenging or rewarding flyfishing
experience than Big Pine Key and The Lower Keys. Bonefish. Permit. Snook. Tarpon. They’re here.
They’re hungry. And they’ll take everything you’ve got – including your backing.