Great news for Georgia boaters! A partnership between the state Department of Driver Services (DDS) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making it easier for boaters to show they have the required boater education. A boating indicator – a small anchor — may be added to the front of a driver’s license or ID card to eliminate the need to have a boating safety education card with them when boating.
While all Georgia boaters do not need to complete training, many are required to complete a state-approved education program before operating a boat — including anyone born on and after January 1, 1998.
The advantage to this program is that you will no longer need to carry your boating safety education card with you when boating, provided you have your driver’s license/ID with you.
“Once the boater education completion indicator is placed on your DDS record, it will automatically be printed on your license or ID each time it is renewed. We are excited to partner with DNR on this customer-focused initiative,” commented DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore.
“As time moves forward, more and more Georgians will be required to complete a boater education course if they want to operate a boat on state waters,” said Georgia DNR Commissioner Mark Williams. “To be able to show that you have completed boater ed on your driver’s license will eliminate the need to carry a separate card, which is much more convenient.”
Those without the boater education completion indicator printed on their driver’s license or ID card must continue to carry their proof of completion of the boater education course (if required in Georgia), along with proof of identity. Boat operators can enroll in a certified boater education course either online or through a classroom-based program to receive the necessary certification (www.gadnrle.org/boating-education).
· Those who have completed a DNR-approved classroom course will automatically have their information submitted electronically from DNR after the class completion and placed on their DDS record if they have or in the past have had a Georgia driver’s license or identification card. The next time they apply for a driver license or ID card renewal, the boater education completion indicator will be placed on their license or ID card.
· Customers who return to the DDS for the boater education completion indicator before their license renewal may be subject to any issuance or renewal fees.
· Customers who choose to renew online or via the DDS 2 GO app will have the indicator placed on their card if DDS has record of the course completion on file from DNR.
· Those who have completed an online NASBLA-approved boater education course may bring the original NASBLA certificate of completion to a DDS customer service center to have the indicator placed on their license or ID.
· Those who have completed a NASBLA-approved boater education course from another state may bring the original NASBLA certificate to a DDS customer service center to have the indicator placed on their license or ID.
About the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) is responsible for the issuance of driver’s licenses and state identification cards, conducting over 3.7 million annual transactions for the nation’s eighth largest state across 67 field offices. Additionally, DDS runs the state’s motorcycle safety program (training over 7000 motorcyclists annually), investigates fraud through its internal law enforcement division, answers 1.5 million citizen phone calls, and maintains driving records on all drivers licensed in Georgia and non-residents who are convicted of traffic violations in Georgia courts. We are committed to our mission “To provide secure identity credentials to our customers, with excellence and respect”.