Who needs to have a Boating License? All Your Questions Answered!

If you are someone that loves taking your family out to the lake and enjoy your summer weekends, making memories on the boat as your kids grow older, chances are that you have asked yourself the one question that we are frequently asked here at Memphis Boat Center. “How old do my kids have to be to get their boating license?” “Where do I go to get the Boating License?”  Well Today we will finally break it down for you and try to make it as simple and painless as we possibly can, that way you can go home and help your kids get certified and enjoy the process in the meantime, since we all know family time is hard to come by during the busy work week. Plus, Who wouldn’t want their kids driving them around the lake all summer like chauffeurs.

Enrique Started Early

Enrique Started Early

So, First thing is first. Every state requires different things and have different processes for issuing boating licenses. In this post we will tell you how to get your license in Tennessee and Mississippi. This post will guide you to where you need to take the test and also the websites where you can find complete details and requirements.


Who needs a card:

  • Anyone born after January 1st, 1989, who operates a motorized vessel over 8.5 HP in Tennessee.

What you need to know:

  • If there is an adult on board (at least 18 years old, and if born after 1/1/89 that possesses the certification) that can take immediate control of the vessel, this certification is NOT required.

How do you take the exam?

  • you must be at least 12 years old to take the exam
  • you need to purchase a 10 dollar type 600 boating safety permit. (like a hunting license can be found at walmart or sporting goods stores)make sure to keep your receipt since it will be your “ticket” to the exam.
  • you can get all the study material free by calling (615)781-6682. you can study with your kids and help them learn the old way from a printed paper back copy.
  • for all the new techies, you can also take a study course online(not free) at http://www.Boat-ed.com/tennessee. They have practice tests and good study tools. you will still have to take the in person test.
  • log on to http://www.tn.gov/twra/boated.html for more information and to find the closest testing facility.


It is a bit easier to get your boating license in Mississippi because you don’t have to actually show up to a in person test. You can actually take the course online and they will mail you your license in the mail! AWESOME!

Who needs a card?

  • Anyone Born after June 30th, 1980, who operates a boat or PWC(jet ski) in Mississippi.

What you need to know

  • Persons under 12 years of age must be accompanied by a person 21 or older on board the boat in order to operate the boat

How do you take the exam?

  • log on to http://www.boat-ed.com/mississippi and sign up for free
  • Study the online material and take the boater safety course test
  • after passing the test you will have to pay $29.50 and can instantly print your temporary certification!
  • you will receive your boater education card in the mail in about 8 to 10 business days.

We hope you guys enjoy getting certified and this summer on the lake while you sit back, relax, and let your kids do all the driving for you. Have fun and be safe out there.

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