January 1, 2018: Anyone 20 years old or younger must have a Card. The California Boater Card program is … 2022: 45 or younger California law requires a person to be 16 years of age or older and in possession of his/her California Boater Card to legally operate a vessel powered by a motor of 15 hp or more, including personal watercraft (PWCs).. DBW will issue the cards to persons who provide proof that an approved vessel operator examination has been passed since January 1, 2015. By January 1st, 2025, all boat operators in California will be required to get certified, no matter their age. A law being rolled out over the next few years requires California residents to have a boater card, starting now for younger boaters, and increasing in age until 2025 when everybody will need one. Every boater and personal watercraft driver will need a California Boater Card before they hit the waterways in 2025. 2020: 35 or younger. The Boater Card (also called a boat license) requirements are being phased in over a period of 8 years. 2019: 25 or younger. The program is being phased in by age to give boaters ample time to obtain their card. 2021: 40 or younger. California Boater Card Requirements Timeline. Operators of motorized vessels in California need a California Boater Card, if they are 35 years of age or younger. California Boater Card Apply Now! The New California Boating Law – For Recreational Boats. aged 20 and younger shall be required to carry a boater education card. As of January 1, 2021, boaters 40 and younger will be required to carry a California Boater Card to operate a motorized vessel. The new law was first discussed in 2014; it originated from Senate Bill 941, which made it mandatory for aspiring boaters to receive education on boat safety before taking their vessels out into the ocean. The card. CA Boating License Requirement . You need to get a California Boater Card. This requirement is being phased in by age and by 2025 everyone will need a California Boater Card, regardless of age. Once issued by the Division of Boating and Waterways, the California Boater Card remains valid for a boat operator’s lifetime. Safety Equipment. 2018: Age 20 or younger. Since January 1, 2018, people wishing to operate a motorized vessel on state waters need to carry the California Boat Card.The Card will … Take note: beginning January 1, 2018, boaters 20 years of age and younger are the first age group that must carry a California Boater Card when on state waterways. The California Boater Card is verification that its holder has successfully taken and passed an approved boating safety course. Age and Operator Restrictions. Mandatory Boater Education: On January 1, 2018, California began implementing its new seven-year phase-in of the mandatory boater safety education law for boaters who operate a motorized vessel on California waterways. 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