Boater Education

Enjoy Boating in Texas

Texas has 1.7 Million acres of freshwater lakes, 4 million acres of Saltwater, 80,000 miles of river and roughly 590,000 recreational water vessels. We want you to boat safely and enjoy time on and around the water! 

Two women on stand up paddle boards

Boater Education Courses


To reach a boater education specialist call the TPWD Law Enforcement division at 512-389-4846 and select option 4 in the phone menu.

Who must take a Boater Education Certification Course?

Anyone born on or after September 1, 1993 who wishes to operate certain vessels on the public waterways of Texas. See Water Safety Act for details

  • Boating courses are taught by US Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power Squadron and trained volunteer instructors, as well as teachers, and game wardens.
  • With more and more people enjoying the lakes and rivers every year, it's important, for everyone, that boaters educate themselves on boating skills and seamanship.


Learn more about water safety

Boaters jump into the lake from a vessel

  • Wear a life jacket
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Watch your kids
  • Use an engine cut off safety switch
  • Take a boater education course

Visit us on social media on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Boating and Water Safety Pages: Facebook or Instagram

Take a free online paddling course