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Barbara Ford-Coates - Florida Tax Collector serving Sarasota County
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Boating Safety

Florida’s Boating Safety Education
Any boat operator who was born on or after January 1, 1988 and operates a vessel with a 10 horsepower or more motor must obtain a Boating Safety Identification Card. That card and a photo ID must be carried by the operator.

To obtain your Boating Safety Identification Card, you must take an approved boating safety course and send proof of course completion to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Exemptions from the Boat Safety and Education requirement

  • A person licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a master of a vessel
  • A person operating only on a private lake or pond
  • A person accompanied by an individual who is either exempt from the requirement or is at least 18 years old and possesses the required ID card (provided that person is attendant to the safe operation of the vessel and is responsible for any violation that occurs).

For vessel safety checks or boating safety course schedule, you may also wish to contact a local resource:

Boating Brochures

More information on boating safety and education can be found at