|(a) All courses approved for certification and equivalency
exam processes must be approved by the department and must satisfy
the minimum national standards adopted by the National Association
of State Boating Law Administrators in effect on June 1, 2022.
(b) Courses and equivalency exams shall consist of
the following subjects:
(1) Boats--boat uses, capacities, trailers, equipment,
(2) Boating safety--accident causes, prevention and
(3) Boating operation--preparation, float plans, navigation
rules, navigation aids, local hazards and weather;
(4) State laws--Texas Water Safety Act, Boating While
Intoxicated (BWI) Laws, violation prevention and basic boating responsibilities;
(5) Information on how to prevent the spread of exotic
harmful or potentially harmful aquatic plants, fish, and shellfish,
including department-approved methods for cleaning:
(A) a boat;
(B) a boat's motor;
(C) fishing and other equipment; and
(D) a boat trailer.
(c) The course is successfully completed when the student
scores a minimum of 70% on a course exam prescribed by the department.
(d) In lieu of a course, a person may complete an equivalency
exam process consisting of a multiple-choice exam proctored by an
agent appointed by the department or accessed through a department-sponsored
(1) Equivalency exam passage shall be set at a minimum
80 percent passing score.
(2) A person who fails the equivalency exam must wait
at least 24 hours to retake it.
(e) The minimum age for certification is 12 years of
(f) The department shall:
(1) train and certify boater education instructors
upon completion of an application, background check, game warden interview
and proof of student and instructor course completion;
(2) administer all records of certifications; and
(3) approve the standard form for a boater education
identification to be issued to a person who successfully completes
a boater education course or equivalency exam.
(g) A person 18 years of age or older may obtain a
one-time deferral from the boater-education requirements of Parks
and Wildlife Code, §31.109, after paying the fee established
in §53.50 of this title (relating to Training and Certification
Fees) to the department.
(1) A deferral under this subsection does not authorize
any person to supervise the operation of a vessel by any other person.
(2) A boater education deferral is valid for 15 consecutive
days beginning on the date of purchase and ending at midnight of the
15th day following purchase.
(h) The following are exempt from the boater education
requirements of Parks and Wildlife Code, §31.109:
(1) a member of the Armed Forces of the United States
on active or reserve duty who is qualified as an officer of the deck
underway, boat coxswain, boat officer, watercraft operator, or marine
(2) a member of the United States Merchant Marine;
(3) a person who possesses a valid Canadian Pleasure
Craft Operator's Card issued in the person's name.
(i) A person engaged in showing, testing, or demonstrating
boats under Parks and Wildlife Code, §31.041(d), is exempt from
the boater education course requirement while showing, testing, or
demonstrating a boat.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §51.81 adopted to be effective January 3, 2005, 29 TexReg 12225; amended to be effective January 2, 2013, 37 TexReg 10225; amended to be effective February 16, 2014, 39 TexReg 766; amended to be effective March 29, 2020, 45 TexReg 2186; amended to be effective October 25, 2023, 48 TexReg 6214