Boating safety course bill clears California legislature

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A California bill that would require the state Division of Boating and Waterways to issue vessel operator cards to people who have passed an approved exam has passed the legislature and is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.

SB 941, which was supported by the Recreational Boaters of California, passed this week.

The requirement to obtain a vessel operator card would apply initially to operators 20 years of age or younger with a phased-in implementation date, depending on the age of the individual.

The seven-year phase-in would begin in 2018 and eventually would apply to everyone as of 2025. The requirement would apply to operators of engine-propelled vessels.

Importantly, online education, such as the BoatUS Foundation course, will be an option.