A Seattle boat accident attorney discusses Washington State’s boater safety requirements as well as the boater education card.

A Seattle boat accident attorney discusses Washington State’s boater safety requirements as well as the boater education card.

 

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Washington State began requiring a boater education card in 2008 and will phase in the law until 2014. Beginning at that time, boaters of all ages operating a 15 horsepower vessel or larger will need to carry a card proving that they have taken a boater education course in person, online, or at home.

The boater education card is part of the 2005 Boating Safety Education Bill, which was developed by the Washington Alliance for Mandatory Boater Education (WAMBE). The bill, which is similar to legislation in Oregon, was passed in order to increase boater safety and decrease recreational boating accidents and injuries. Aside from Washington, 36 other states as well as Canada has similar boater education laws.

The boater education card costs $10 initially and $5 to replace. Not carrying a card can result in an $87 ticket.

It is important to understand that the boater education card is not a license. The card never expires and cannot be taken away or suspended as a drivers’ license can. The card is simply proof that you have studied boating safety and Washington State boating laws and that you have passed a test that reviews that information.

Despite these new laws, Washington boating accidents still take place. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident on the water, you may wish to speak with a Seattle personal injury attorney about your case in order to determine whether you may deserve compensation. To learn more during a free, private case evaluation, call the Andrew Kim Law Firm today at 800-636-3676.