The Tennessee mandatory boating education law is similar to the driver’s license law. You acquire the study materials, study, and then take an approved boating safety exam administered by an approved representative of the TWRA.
Any Tennessee resident born after January 1, 1989 must show the
TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate as proof of
successful completion of the TWRA Boating Safety exam.
No other certificate will be accepted as meeting the requirements of the law.
If there is an adult on board (at least 18 years old, and if born after 1/1/89 possesses the certification) that can take immediate control of the vessel this certificate
is not required.
If you were born after January 1, 1989, TWRA will accept any NASBLA approved boating safety certificate.
First, you must be at least 12 years old to take the exam. After studying the boating safety material, you must first purchase, for $10.00, a Type 600 boating safety exam permit from any business (license agent) that sells hunting and fishing licenses (WalMart sporting goods, bait stores, marinas, etc.).
The receipt from this transaction is your "ticket" to take the exam. Try not to lose this receipt, it will admit you into an exam location and will also serve as a temporary certificate if you pass the exam.
If you do not pass the exam, this receipt/"ticket" can continue to be used to take the exam as many times as it takes to pass. Try not to lose it!
There are many avenues to study:
Locations will be available across the entire state. Click on your region below to find a list of the locations, dates, and times.
Allow approximately one hour to take the exam.
When you pass the exam, you will receive your wallet card in the mail within a few weeks.
If your boating safety card is lost or stolen, you may purchase a Type 605 license from a license agent for $5.00. The duplicate card will be mailed approximately 2 weeks from purchase date.
People who rent any type of watercraft are exempt from having the certification. The renter is determined by the name that appears on the rental agreement.
Call our Boating Education Office at (615) 781-6601 or send an e-mail for more information or to receive a home study book.
If your parents or someone else purchases the permit for you to take the exam, they must give your information to the sales agent. Otherwise the proper information will not match and you will not receive the boating safety certificate.