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How to Apply for Your California Boater Card (CBC)

Step 1: After reading these steps, please click the “Start Application” button on the bottom of this page.

Step 2: Select “NEW”. Complete the application.

Step 3: Select one of the four options to provide proof of education:

  • I want to upload my Boating Safety Education Certificate now.
    • Must be JPEG or PDF files only and with a size not greater than 5Mb.
    • Certificate must be dated after January 1, 2015.
  • I want to enter my DBW Course for Safe Boating Exam Certificate ID now.
    • If you have received a Certificate ID from the Division of Boating and Waterways, you will enter that number here.
  • I will mail my Boating Safety Education Certificate.
    • Please mail a copy of your certificate to the address below:
      • Department of Parks and Recreation
        Division of Boating and Waterways – CBC
        P.O. Box 942896
        Sacramento, CA 94296-0001
    • I have not taken Boating Safety Education at this time.
      • After payment and confirmation, you will receive an Application ID.

Step 4: Pay the $10 boater card fee using one of the following options (no cash allowed):

  • Visa, MasterCard, or Discover
  • Personal check, cashier’s check or money order to: (Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing)
    • Department of Parks and Recreation
      Division of Boating and Waterways – CBC
      P.O. Box 942896
      Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

Step 5: If you chose to take your boating safety education at a later time, you will receive an Application ID. Please visit CaliforniaBoaterCard.com to take one of the approved courses and exam. You will then provide your Application ID to one of the approved course providers, and pass the corresponding exam. The course provider will submit your Application ID to DBW as proof of meeting the CBC education requirements.

Step 6: If you are sending a check and/or submitting a copy of your approved education certificate by mail, you will need to print out the confirmation coversheet and attach it to the check or proof of education prior to sending to the Division at:

  • Department of Parks and Recreation
    Division of Boating and Waterways – CBC
    P.O. Box 942896
    Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

Step 7: Once the Division approves the application, proof of education, and payment, you will print your 90-day temporary CBC, and then receive your permanent card by US Mail within 60 days. Please allow 3-5 days to receive your temporary boater card by email.