Mandatory Age and Education Requirements for a Boater Education ID Card

  • All motorboat operators born on or after January 1, 1989, must have completed a boating safety course approved by NASBLA* and New Mexico State Parks. An operator may also operate motorboat (PWC or "Jet Skis" and Sailboats included) if they have passed an approved, proctored equivalency test; or possesses a valid license from the U.S. Coast Guard or Canadian Government. Proof of boater education is required to be carried aboard during operation. Many states now have a requirement for this card by ALL boaters.; Get yours while costs to take the course is free or low cost.
  • No person under the age of 13 shall operate a motorboat unless under the onboard supervision of an adult (This person under the age of 13 is also required to have their boater education card and the adult must be 21 years of age or older). If you have lost a card click here.
  • It can take up to 45 days to receive your education card.; Plan your class now. New Mexico State Parks has approved only the course options below:
How to Register for a Course

Operators may take their boater education course by registering for any one course from these five course options (first two are formal classroom settings)

If you pass the class closed book test with a minimum of 80%, you will be issued both a certificate of completion and a wallet card within 45 days. Many insurance companies will recognize the classroom courses only for boat insurance discount purposes of about 5 to 15%.

The issued Boater Education Card is honored in just about every state in the country unless you move to another state that does not have an education reciprocity agreement with New Mexico. When you move it is your responsibility to check the law in your new state.

NM State Parks Formal Boating Basics Courses

Boat New Mexico

  • Eight Hour class with giveaways. .
  • One full day usually Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays
  • Where: Varies throughout New Mexico (Albuquerque, Carlsbad, Clovis, Conchas and Ute Lakes, Elephant Butte Lake State Park, Espanola, Farmington, Ft. Sumner, Grants, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Tucumcari) and also in Amarillo and El Paso Texas.
  • Cost: None. Free instruction and materials.
  • NASBLA/New Mexico/USCG Approved: Yes.
  • Education Card: No charge. Takes a few weeks.
  • Customer Service: 505-476-3370 or 1-888-667-2757;

NMSP LogoRegister: here

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary ABC Course

  • Eight Hour class woth sp, .
  • One full day, or two half days
  • Where: Mostly Albuquerque at the Foothills Church and in Santa Fe
  • Cost: Instruction is free however there is a $15 materials charge payable by cash or check at the start of the class.
  • NASBLA/New Mexico/USCG Approved: Yes.
  • Education Card: No charge. Takes a few weeks. .
  • Course Description.
  • Customer Service: 505-293-7543

E-mail -

USCG Aux Logo Register: here.

Computer Online Self Study Options

The online options below have been approved for the boater education card for New Mexico.; These courses have New Mexico specific content covering laws and regulations unique to our state. Fees for the course and for any card varies.

Using unique and engaging learning tools, online courses will usually take from 5 to 8 hours to complete.

A total of 6 states and territories prohibit the use of Internet testing and will not accept an Internet course as proof of mandatory education. These are:

Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah
Puerto Rico (requires a 24- hour proctored course)

Register below for one of the New Mexico approved on line courses.

Boat Ed

Boat Ed New Mexico Logo Register:Here

Boat Ed - Boat New Mexico

Boater Exam America Inc.

NM Boater Exam Logo One line reader optiion Register: Here

Boater Exam - New Mexico

  • Contacts: 1-866-764-2628


Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety

Boat US Logo Register:Here

Boat US -New Mexico Boating Safety Course

  • Contact:1-800-245-BOAT or 1-703-461-2864 ext. 8351 or ext. 8356


8-5 EST, M-F Only

NM Flag

Special Boat Education Courses

Learn Free about the big contributor to boating fatalities in New Mexico.

two kayakers

Paddlers need to know a thing or two as well. Free Course. | Paddle Safety Course

Confused about Navigation Rules? Take this free tutorial.

The New Mexico Sailing Club will not be holding special classes on sailing this year in Northern New Mexico for children and youth groups. The Heron Lake Marina is closed this year 2014 for the season. See the "Boating Waters" pages link under "Boating" found in the left column.

Summertime course in sailboat racing for youths in New Mexico High Schools is still being conducted by the West Mesa H.S. Junior ROTC program for 2014.

Contact our Division if your community would be interested in supporting a youth program for hands-on experiential boating called the "Spirit of America"

water sports hand signals

Boat Education Hint for the Month

Watersports will soon be on the mind of many going out on New Mexico waters. Buying the right equipment and knowing what to do are found by following the guidelines of the WSIA, the Water Sports Industry Association. Their guidebook provides you with rope specifications and guidelines, and driving instruction best practices for rider types, ages and abilities.

Some New Mexico special considerations are the proper use of a "Ski Flag", proper selection of an impact speed rated United States Coast Guard Approved Life Jacket, providing a 300 foot front, and side 150' minimum "safety corridor" for whoever is being towed, boat capacity must have seating on board for the person(s) being towed, the person being towed cannot be under the influence of any alcohol or drugs and must wear a life jacket approved for the sport.

Get a Replacement New Mexico Boater Education Identification Card

You can request a replacement boater education card from the division if you have legally changed your name or had your boater education card lost, stolen or destroyed. To obtain the card you have to provide us with your boater education card number and an affidavit stating the circumstances which led to the loss or destruction or proof of a name change such as a court order or marriage license along with a replacement fee by cashiers check or money order of $10. As a side confirmation please provide both your hair color and eye color and DOB.

Full text of New Mexico Boater Education Laws including those required for New Mexico Boat Rentals

Other Specialized Boating Classes Not NM Approved or Certified but may be NASBLA Approved as for valuable content

Sailing Course

Captain's Licensing - AKA 6-passenger license.

Canoeing Rafting and Kayaking

Personal Watercraft Rental Training

Cold Water Shock, Hypothermia and Cold Water Survival

Basic Water Rescue

Advanced Boat Operator Certifications

Paddle Sports Safety Course

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