US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website

The Mississippi River Project staff offer classroom style boating safety classes each year through the Illinois Boating Safety Education Program. People from any of the states that surround Illinois can take this course and still recieve their boaters safety card that is good in all the surrounding states. Throughout the year, many people operate motor-driven watercraft on Mississippi River Project waters and many operate for the first time. So, we encourage people of all ages - both novice and experienced - to take the course. Each of us has the responsibility to keep this lifetime leisure activity free from tragedy and personal loss to ourselves and our fellow boaters.

Boating Safety Education Course consists of a minimum eight hours of instruction. These courses cover the basics of boating safety, equipment requirements, navigation, motorboat registration and titling, emergency measures and boating laws. Persons 12 and over completing the minimum eight hours of instruction and successfully completing the final examination will receive a State of Illinois Certificate of Competency.

Who Must Take The Course?

On January 1, 1978, Illinois law was passed that requires persons at least 12 years of age and less than 18 years of age may only operate a motorboat if:

  • They have in possession a valid Boating Education Certificate of Competency issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Safety Education Division, or
  • They are accompanied on the motorboat and under direct control of a parent of guardian, or a person at least 18 years of age designated by a parent or guardian.
  • Anyone born after January 1, 1998.

Two Ways To Take The Course

Instructor-led Classes-The traditional class method is through an 8 hour instructor-led class structure. Classes are taught in one 8 hour day. The class will end with a  test to pass the class.

Classes offered at the Mississippi River Project Office in Pleasant Valley, IA. They run from 8:00 AM till 4:30 PM and you must be present for the entire day to complete the class. Call 309-794-5338 to reserve your spot in the class.

  • April 18, 2020
  • April 25, 2020
  • May 2, 2020
  • May 18, 2020

Online Self-Study Course-Students may study the course material at their own pace, completing chapter reviews along the way.  At the end of the course material the student will be required to pass an exam. Student certification will be mailed by the course provider.

Two Providers For On-line Boating Safety Course and Certification: