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New boating laws to take effect July 1
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Beginning July 1, completion of a boater education course will become mandatory for all vessel operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1998.

“In an effort to provide a mechanism for ensuring that Georgia boaters are knowledgeable, boaters will be required to complete a boating education course,” said Department of Natural Resources Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver, assistant director of Law Enforcement.

This new requirement states any persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1998, who operate any motorized vessel on the waters of the state must have completed a boat education course approved by the department prior to such operation.

A person is exempt if he or she is:
• A person licensed by the Coast Guard as a master of a vessel;
• A person operating on a private pond or lake;
• A non-resident who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a NASBLA- approved boater education course or equivalency examination from another state.

How can you take a boater education course? There are three ways to take a boater education course — classroom, online or home study program.

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