Boat and water safety education

photo of child boating with officer

Online course

boater card

Watercraft Operator’s Permit

Complete the online boating safety course to receive a youth Minnesota water operator’s permit (12 to 17 years old). 

In addition, this course may be required for youth and adults plan on boating in Canada.

Adults wishing to learn more about boating safety are encouraged to take the course and maybe eligible for a discount on boat insurance —check with your insurance agent.

Complete the online Boating Safety course

screenshot from paddle sports course

Free Paddle Sports Safety course

The free online Paddle Sports Safety course offers a useful introduction to paddling safety. This course is a supplemental course and does not meet youth operator’s permit requirements. 

The Paddle Sports Safety course covers rules of the water, what to do in an emergency, and other tips to enhance paddlers’ knowledge base and operating skills.

Learning how to paddle is a great way to get your feet wet in recreational boating, and starting off with basic boating knowledge will make your experience safer and more enjoyable.

Complete the online Paddle Sports Safety course

Classroom courses

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Learn more about boating and water safety.

Organizations such as U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons offer free or low cost education programs and publications. To find a boating safety classroom course, visit the DNR’s Event Calendar or call BOAT/U.S. at 800-336-BOAT.

Classroom course schedule

Minnesota Boating Guide

The Minnesota Boating Guide (2.8 Mb) summarizes Minnesota's boating laws and regulations in an easy-to-read form. It supplies the information that most boaters need to know about operating watercraft on the state's lakes and rivers. Look at the boating and water recreation regulations pages for other laws.