How To Take a Course

If it’s your boat, it’s your responsibility to learn how to safely and legally operate it in California. Whether you are a new boater or not, the best way to protect yourself and others on the water is to take a boating safety course. DBW offers “The California Boating Safety Course,” a correspondence course that allows boaters to study at home at their own pace. The course covers state and federal boating law, rules of the road, boat handling, required equipment, navigational aids, accident reporting, and more. It is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard.

This course includes an optional 50-question graded exam. If you take it and pass, you will receive a Certificate of Completion that is recognized by many insurance companies for discounts on boat insurance policies. For more information on the Division's education programs, please contact: Suzi Betzler at (916) 327-1833.


How To Take a Course

You may order The California Boating Safety Course from us online, by phone or by fax, or you can download a PDF version (3.2 MB) to read offline. To take the test, contact DBW and request a Scantron form that must be completed and mailed back to us for processing.

E-mail your your request to or call (888) 326-2822.

Other boating safety
training options

Many organizations offer boating safety training including the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons.

For information on the nearest Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Safety/Handling course, call (toll free) 1-800-SEA-SKIL (732-7245) or visit the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary website.

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