Missouri’s youngest boat operators will have to work a bit harder to satisfy state licensing requirements than their predecessors did. A change to the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators procedure for online testing that goes active Jan. 1, will increase the rigors that new boating certificate applicants face.
The NASBLA introduced a minimum study time requirement, page view requirements and mid-course activities to its online boater certification course. The NASBLA and the the U.S. Coast Guard approve the Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Patrol Division’s selection of an online course designed by Fresh Air Educators. The Ottawa, Candada-based company produces e-learning courses for boating and hunting. Beginning Jan. 1, 2005, all persons born after Jan. 1, 1984 were required to obtain a boating safety identification card in order to operate a vessel on Missouri waters. Boat operators must be at least 14 years of age. Boaters are required to carry a valid photo I.D. along with their certification card.
The biggest change for new students will be the required three hours of study time through the online course before they will be allowed to take the test for a boater education enforcement. The new requirement prevents students from skimming the material and then satisfying just enough of the questions required to pass the test. “We know that test scores are significantly higher with timed courses. So, timed courses let us offer the best of both worlds: the convenience of an online approach coupled with the highest possible education standards.” Kerry Moher, Vice President of Business Development at Fresh Air Educators, said.
The change will not impact students who opt to take an in-person boating safety course. The Water Patrol Division organizes several safety courses around the Lake of the Ozarks area throughout the year.
By the numbers:
Current online testing requirements:
2012 online testing requirements:
Source: Lake Sun Dec 14, 2011