A Message to

California Boater Card Partners 

Dear Boater Card Partner:

The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) welcomes your partnership in promoting the new California Boater Card program. Boating safety and education have always been important pillars of our mission of service to California boaters. We believe boater education can improve safety and increase waterway recreation enjoyment. To this end, boat operators can now apply for the California Boater Card online and implementation of the California Boater Card program begins Jan. 1, 2018.

As most of you know, California Boater Card outreach started just over one year ago. You may have seen boater card messages in your boat registration renewal mailing, on marina posters, at boat shows, or in boating publications and websites. Our September 2017 California Boater Card survey of California registered boaters revealed that 85% of boaters have heard about the boater card, but some of them are not fully aware about timing, how to apply or what safety courses are approved.

Enclosed in this Partner Resource Kit, you will find helpful print, digital and social media files. They are also housed online. We encourage you to use and share these California Boater Card resources to expand boater awareness about taking a course and getting a boater card. Of immediate need in 2018 is to reach the first wave of boaters who will be required to carry the card when on the water – boaters 20 years of age and under.

Senate Bill 941, signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. in 2014, adds California as one of 49 states or territories that require some type of boater education. As part of the implementation process, DBW is circulating regulations concurrently with boater education and outreach efforts. The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the California Boater Card Program regulations in early 2018. DBW soon will post information regarding the program regulations.

DBW is rolling out the California Boater Card program in phases starting with young, inexperienced boaters. We encourage you to reach out to younger boaters and their parents (usually the boat owners). You can direct them to our website for more detailed information and our online application page at www.CaliforniaBoaterCard.com.

Thank you for being our partner. Together we can help make 2018, the first year of the California Boater Card, a boating safety education success!



Ramona Fernandez

Acting Deputy Director

California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways