If you are planning on purchasing a houseboat or renting one you probably want to know what kind of license is required and how much it will cost. In this article we will discuss those two questions.
What Kind of License Do You Need To Drive A Houseboat?
Unfortunately the answer is, it depends. Each state has different requirements on who is required to have a boating license to legally pilot a boat.
Some states require the driver to be over the age of 21. Some states require the driver to be born before a certain year. In other states they are in the process of making everyone regardless of age have a boating license before they can drive a boat.
Since the laws vary so greatly you will need to contact your local officials for your specific state to see what they require or you can check out our boating laws section by clicking here.
How Much Is A Houseboat License?
Thankfully this question is much simpler to answer. A boating license or boating safety certificate normally costs $30-$40 and can be done online at a variety of different boater safety websites.
One nice thing about a boating license (also called a boater’s safety certificate) is that it never expires and never has to be updated (based on the current laws). You don’t have to worry about renewing it every few years and you don’t even have to take a boat driving test either, it can all be done online!
Even if your state doesn’t require you to take the safety course, if you are a beginner at piloting a boat it would be a good idea to spend the small amount of money and take the course.
There are even some states that provide an online boater safety course at No Cost! Of course each state is different but you will want to take the specific safety course for the state where you reside to ensure that you are covered.
A boater’s safety course will often go over the rules of water as well as help you get a grasp on who has the right of way, what the different markers and buoys mean, as well as other things to help you be a safer boater.
Much like driving a car, driving a boat takes a while to get used to. A boater’s safety course is quite inexpensive and it will help you be more confident the next time you take your boat out. Plus it might help you avoid an accident or incident which is really the whole point of the courses in the first place.
If your state doesn’t require you to take a course I personally would still go ahead and take it. After all, you can never have too much knowledge or be too prepared for the unexpected.