Boat Safety

​3 Ways to Get a Maryland Safe Boating Certificate

I. Classroom

The Maryland Basic Boating Course is taught by trained instructors and must be a minimum of 8 hours in length. Instructors may use visual aides, movies, projected images, and other methods to provide information to class members. All students are encouraged to ask question as the class moves along. Students must attend all classroom sessions and achieve a score of 80% on the final exam in order to pass. Some agencies require that youngsters under a certain age attend with a participating adult. Most of the classroom classes will require registration. Please call the numbers listed with the courses for the specific information.

Classroom Boating Safety Courses

II. On-Line


Maryland Basic Boating Online Course.

The Maryland Basic Boating Course is available on-line. However, there is no opportunity to ask questions since there is no instructor. Study at home, on your own schedule, and at your own pace. When you pass the on-line exam from one of the providers listed below, you will be instructed as to how you will receive your valid boating safety certificate. Please make sure that the initials N.A.S.B.L.A. are printed on your final certificate. The State will be able to verify that you completed a valid boating safety course. However replacement certificates can only be issued by the provider of the course.

Four online course options:


III. Maryland Boating Equivalency Exam

The Safety Education Section suggests that boaters attend a Maryland Basic Boating Class (remember, the law specifies that anyone born on or after July 1, 1972, must have a Certificate of Boating Safety Education in order to operate a mechanically propelled vessel on Maryland waters). However, due to certain circumstances, some people are unable to attend all sessions of the eight-hour course. In order to facilitate the availability of the course, the Maryland Natural Resources Police Safety Education Section has created the Maryland Basic Boating Equivalency Examination. Boaters who are unable to attend the class, and are in need of a Certificate of Boating Safety Education, may obtain a copy of the Boat Maryland textbook, the textbook used in all boating safety classes, at one of the locations listed below. After studying the material contained in the textbook, contact one of the test sites marked with an asterisk, to schedule a date and time to take the exam. The exam consists of 65 multiple-choice questions designed to measure comprehension in regard to information contained in the textbook. A score of 80% is required to pass the examination. Failure to pass the examination after two attempts will require a student to attend a classroom course in order obtain the Certificate of Boating Safety Education.

Equivalency Exam Testing Sites

By Appointment Only


Anne Arundel​Nancy Gardner​(410) 409-2998​
Baltimore​Jim Fitch   ​(410) 918-4237​
St. Mary’s​Gary Smith​(410) 326-8377​
​Talbot​Robin Marshall​ (410) 310-5747
Washington​Jaime Dick​(240) 313-2808​
Worcester​Barry Cohen​(410) 935-4807​


For further course information, please visit the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary website at, or the United States Power Squadron website at