All boaters 45 years of age and younger required to obtain a California Boater Card

As of January 2022, all boaters 45 years of age and younger who operate on California waters must have a California Boater Card (CBC).

California boating law requires boaters to obtain and carry a CBC while operating a recreational motorized vessel on California waterways. The CBC shows that its holder has successfully taken and passed a NASBLA/state-approved boater safety education examination.

In 2018, the CBC program began the phase-in by age for operators of motorized boats on state waterways. As of January 2022, all boaters 45 years of age and younger must have a CBC. By 2025, all persons who operate on California waters will be required to have one. 

The CBC is issued by the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW). The lifetime card fee is $10. The lost card replacement fee is $5. Once DBW has received the boater’s application, proof of education, and payment, the boater will receive a 90-day temporary CBC by email and the official CBC card by mail within 60 days.

Instructions on how to apply for a CBC can be found at


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