Here is the link to state code that directed DGIF to do something.
LIS > Code of Virginia > 29.1-735.2
Below is the age phase in schedule and rules from the DGIF web page. I am pretty sure that you can satisify the requirement by doing an online "course" which often times just means trying to take the on line test until you get a passing score. Went the bill was in progress I went through and did two of the tests which were pretty straight forward with an understanding of boating basics. Some of the courses charge $20 to get the certificate, some (BOATSUS for instance) are free. Here is a link to the DGIF web page that has the courses
WAIT A MINUTE this sucks.
THERE ARE NO LONGER FREE ON LINE CORSES. . . THEY BOTH COST LIKE $30. When it was a PWC class you could just take the test for free. . .
Also the state code says
2. Passes a proctored equivalency examination that tests the knowledge of information included in the curriculum of an approved course;
There is not option on the DGIF web site to do the proctored test. We should be able to do this at a DGIF office or DMV or something.
In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law to establish a boating safety education compliance requirement. This requirement does not apply to law enforcement officers while engaged in their official duties. The requirement for boating safety education is phased-in over several years and applies to all PWC operators and operators of motorboats of 10hp and greater according to the following schedule:
- PWC operators 20 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2009;
- PWC operators 35 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2010;
- PWC operators 50 years of age or younger and motorboat operators 20 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2011;
- All PWC operators, regardless of age, and motorboat operators 30 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2012;
- Motorboat operators 40 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2013;
- Motorboat operators 45 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2014;
- Motorboat operators 50 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2015;
- All motorboat operators,regardless of age,shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2016.
A person shall be considered in compliance with the requirement for boating safety education if he/she meets one or more of the following provisions:
- Completes and passes a boating safety education course that is approved by NASBLA and accepted by the Department;
- Passes an equivalency exam;
- Possesses a valid license to operate a vessel issued to maritime personnel by the United States Coast Guard or a marine certificate issued by the Canadian government or possesses a Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator's Card;
- Possesses a temporary operator's certificate;
- Possesses a rental or lease agreement from a motorboat rental or leasing business, which lists the person as the authorized operator of the motorboat, and has also completed the Dockside Safety Checklist;
- Operates the motorboat under onboard direct supervision of a person who meets the compliance requirement;
- Is a non-resident, is temporarily using the waters of Virginia for a period not to exceed 90 days, and meets any applicable boating safety education requirements of the state of residency, or possesses a Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator's Card;
- Has assumed operation of the motorboat due to the illness or physical impairment of the initial operator,and is returning the motorboat to shore in order to provide assistance or care for the operator;
- Is registered as a commercial fisherman pursuant to the Code of Virginia or is under the onboard direct supervision of the commercial fisherman while operating the commercial fisherman's boat.