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Boat Operator Certification

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  • If you are an experienced boater and want to obtain certification for your skills, this is the page for you.
  • If you are a new or inexperienced boater and want to learn how to operate a boat, then visit our Practical on-the-water Training page.

With the Boat Operator’s Certification Program, USPS will certify USPS members at various levels of recreational boating proficiency.  We expect that these certifications will be recognized across the boating community, both domestically and internationally.  In the United States, The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has asked congress to authorize the Transportation Secretary to establish requirements for standards of proficiency for recreational boaters.  We intend to have USPS certification accepted as the above proof and be accepted as the national certificate for the USA.

Certification at any level requires successful completion of all prescribed elements including:

  • USPS courses – completions are tracked at USPS Headquarters
  • USPS and/or non-USPS seminars – signed off by instructor and tracked at Headquarters
  • Skill demonstrations on the water or, in some cases, ashore – signed-off by trained certifier and tracked at headquarters (some may be US Sailing programs)

To be certified, a member must be at least 16 years of age, be mentally and physically capable of operating a boat, and have sufficient visual and auditory sensory ability to do so. Holding a driver’s license will suffice to certify meeting these requirements.

USPS currently plans four levels of Boat Operator Certification:

  • Inland Navigator
  • Coastal Navigator
  • Advanced Coastal Navigator
  • Offshore Navigator (under development)

Further information can be found in the materials listed on the USPS website. You can also contact  with your questions. You can also use the form below to request further information.