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Maine Proposed Boating Safety Education Law

The Maine legislature has for a number of years been considering a number of bills requiring everyone operating a noncommercial motorboat or PWC to have a valid boater education certificate with them while operating in Maine waters.

As of  3/20/2008 this legislation was once again voted ought not to pass and placed in legislative files as Dead.

Thing you need to know:

Maine Boater Safety Education Requirements::

Maine currently requires ages 16 to 18 years olds operating a personal watercraft (PWC) to have successfully completed an approved safe boating education course. For all other boat operators Maine does not have any laws requiring mandatory boating safety education for boaters.   No person under 16 years old may operate a personal watercraft (PWC), including jetskis, in the State of Maine.

Although there is currently no mandatory education requirements in Maine, an Educated Boater is a Safer Boater.  By taking a boating safety course, you help ensure our waterways are the safest they can be.  Not to mention, completing a course may reduce your boat insurance 10-15%!

Even though Maine does not require a boater education certificate, if you are a Maine resident and go to a state that does require a boater education certificate you will need one to boat in their state.  Please check the link for New Hampshire on our website.

Certificates from US Coast Guard Auxiliary's About Boating Safety, Boating Skills & Seamanship and Sailing Skills and Seamanship are approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and the certificates earned in these classes are valid in all states which now require boater education certificate.  

Lost Certificates:

Every effort should be made to safeguard your certificates and maintain copies of any records you have proving your successfully completed the course. Before State Safe Boating Education Laws went into effect, most boater safety educators, including the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, did not maintain databases of graduates.

Students who took a class more than 10 years ago would benefit from re-taking the class today.

As far as we can tell at this time, Casco Bay Flotilla's records go back to 1981.  However there may be a year or two missing.   Records from 1995 to present are electronic.  Over the coming years we hope to turn our paper records, from 1981 to 1994, into electronic records.   If you took our course from us in the Portland or surrounding areas there is a good chance that we still have your records.

Students who can provide evidence of having completed one of our classes, such as a copy of the original certificate, wallet card, year they took the course along with other requested identification that would be in our records to identify you, may request replacements from the Public Education Officer.   If such evidence is not available, contact the Public Education Officer  and provide as much information as possible, such as the date and instructor's name. If flotilla records can be located indicating that you completed the class, a replacement can be issued.

There will be a  $10 materials and administration fee for replacement of cards and certificates.

State and national rules prohibit providing replacement cards if evidence of class completion can not be found.