Boater certification courses offered now
With spring around the corner, it's time for area boaters to brush up on their watercraft skills and obtain their boating safety certifications.
Missouri law requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1984, to have passed a Missouri boater education course before operating any motorized watercraft on any of the state's lakes.
A free course will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at Cassville High School, located at 1501 N. Main.
Additional classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 at Troop D Headquarters, 3131 E. Kearney St. in Springfield, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at the Dewey Short Visitor Center, 4500 Missouri 165 in Branson. Maximum class size is 30.
Classes may also be taken online for a nominal fee. Cost of the card for all classes is $15.
There is no age limit on who can take the course, although Missouri law requires boat operators must be at least 14 years of age or older, unless accompanied by an adult.
Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1984, must also carry the boater certification card and photo identification onboard.
Due to records being purged, those who took the course prior to 1999 and have lost the card will be required to take the course again and purchase a new certificate. Those who have cards issued prior to 1999 are urged to laminate the card or store it in a waterproof cover.
Boater safety courses are required for boats, rented or owned, and all personal motorized watercraft in use on Missouri lakes.
For non-Missouri residents, boating safety certifications are still required, either through the Missouri State Highway Patrol or another state's approved agency, such as Boat-Ed, the U.S. Coast Guard or US Power Squadrons.
Out-of-state operators are required to carry the certificate and photo identification while operating a vessel.
Those who are in violation of the law will receive a class B misdemeanor citation and subsequent fine.
To register online for the class, visit www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov and click on the training link. Any class with less than 10 students registered two days prior to the class may be cancelled. In case of a cancellation, attempts will be made to contact the registered students. Officials urge registered individuals to check the website on the day of the class or call to ensure the class is still scheduled.
To take the online course, visit http://www.boat-ed.com/missouri/index.html.