Vessel Operator Certification Bill Passes Appropriations

SB 941 [Monning and DeSaulnier] passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee at its August 14 hearing. 

SB 941 would require the Division of Boating and Waterways [DBW] to issue a vessel operator card to individuals who have passed an approved examination. 

The requirement to obtain a vessel operator card would apply initially to operators 20 years of age or younger with a phased-in implementation date depending on the age of the individual. The seven-year phase-in would begin in 2018 and would eventually apply to everyone as of 2025. The requirement would apply to operators of vessels propelled by engines.

Importantly, online education such as the BoatUS Foundation course will be an option. The BoatUS Foundation course is available at:

Amendments were announced by the Committee Chair as SB 941 passed committee.