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Boat License Boat Certificate Kentucky

Boat License Boat Certificate Kentucky

No one under the age of 12 years old is permitted to operate a motor boat with a horsepower greater than 10. Operators between the ages of 12 and 17 must successfully complete an approved Boater Safety Education Requirement before obtaining a Boating Certificate in Kentucky. Click Here for Kentucky Boating Education Requirements.

Anyone who is 18 years of age or older is not required to carry proof of completing the Boating Education Requirement.

Your Boat Certificate

Although it gives you “license” to legally operate a boat on Kentucky waters, Kentucky does not refer to the boater's certificate as a boating license. Regardless, most states will accept an out-of-state card if it is the result of passing a NASBLA approved course.

How to Obtain Your Boat Operator's Certification in Kentucky

Upon completing an approved online course and paying the $29.50 course fee, you'll be able to print a temporary certificate on the spot. This certificate will allow you to operate a vessel legally on Kentucky waters. Your permanent card will be mailed to you within a few days. Remember to always carry your card with you when operating a boat.

If You Lose your Boat Operator's Certificate /License

Please mail your request for a replacement Boater's Education Card along with the required information to:
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Attn: Boater Education
#1 Sportsman's Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601

Required Information:

Approximate date and location of the Boater Education class you took
$5 (cash or a check made out to the Ky. Department of Fish and Wildlife)

After receiving your request, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will mail your replacement card within a few days.


Kentucky accepts Licenses / Certificates / Cards issued by those states whose courses meet the minimum requirements set by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). Most states with a mandatory boater education requirement will accept a Kentucky Boat Operator’s Card / Certification.

NOTE: Since some states require all boat operators to carry proof of having passed a NASBLA approved boating course and since the Kentucky-issued card never expires, you might want to keep your card regardless of your age.