Boating License Expiration: Re-up Tips for Procrastinators

By Alycia Downs

Oct 22, 2018

Learn how to avoid boating license expiration and renew with ease.

Expiration. A word that can incite panic when referring to any type of license you’ve earned, paid for, or one that’s legally required. If you’re searching online for “boating license expiration,” you might be inquiring about one of two things: a state boater education card or your boat registration. In this article, we’ll cover both topics and what to do if you’re a procrastinator on the verge of expiration.

If by “Boating License Expiration,” you mean: Boater Education Card

When you successfully complete a state-approved boating safety course, you are issued a boater education card. This course is designed to teach you how to safely and responsibly operate a boat. There is no expiration date on a boater safety card, therefore, it is not a license and you don't need to renew it. Certain states require a boater safety card, so be sure to keep it handy when operating a vessel. If you were worried about an expired boat license, your mind should now be eased knowing that a boater safety card cannot expire!

If by “Boating License Expiration,” you mean: Boat Registration

Similar to the license plate on your car, most boats are marked with a registration number and validation decal. Boating on a vessel that has an expired boat license (registration), can result in a citation or big fines so it’s important that you keep it up-to-date. The easiest way to renew your boat registration is online via your state’s department of motor vehicles website. You’ll need to have your existing registration information, vessel information (serial number and registration number), and a method of payment.

If you are looking to register a boat for the first time, check your state requirements and register your boat online . Then, learn more about how to boat safely. Be safe and have fun!

Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at or on Instagram @tideandtale.