FAQs: Florida Mandatory Education for Violators

What type of mandatory education is required?

There are two types of education courses that may be required.
The first type of course includes any NASBLA/State of Florida-approved boating safety education course. This course must be completed following the date of the violation which triggered the education requirement. Proof of completion must be filed with the FWC's Boating and Waterways Section.

The second type is the course for violators. This is a four-hour course that is available online. Unlike the boating safety education course requirement, there is only one approved violator course, and it is available at www.boat-ed.com/floridaviolator/.

(A fee is required to take this course.)

What determines which course or courses I have to take?

The type of violation you have been convicted of determines which course(s) you must complete.

If you have been convicted of any criminal boating violation, you must comply with the mandatory education requirements # 1 and # 2 as described in the answer to the next frequently asked question.

Criminal boating violations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Failure to report a boating accident or render aid
  • Unlawfully leaving the scene of a boating accident
  • Reckless operation of a vessel
  • Boating under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • Refusal to submit to a chemical test (2nd or subsequent refusals)
  • Operating a vessel while privilege to operate is suspended
  • Skiing while impaired/under the influence
  • Reckless operation of a personal watercraft
  • Allowing a person under 14 to operate a personal watercraft
  • Mooring to or damaging a navigation marker, regulatory sign or buoy
  • Violation of a safety/security zone
  • Holding a marine event without permit or notification of authorities
  • Violation of regulations pertaining to rental vessels
  • Vessel title/registration fraud
  • Crimes relating to altering/removing a hull identification number  

If you have been convicted of an infraction that resulted in a reportable boating accident, you must comply with the mandatory education requirements #1 and #2 as described in the answer to the next frequently asked question.

A reportable boating accident occurs when the operator of a vessel is in any manner involved in an accident resulting in:

  • personal injury requiring medical treatment beyond first aid,
  • death of a person,
  • disappearance of a person under circumstances which indicate the possibility of death or injury, or
  • damage to a vessel or other property which totals $2,000 or more.

If you have been convicted of two non-criminal infractions in the list below, within a 12-month period, you must comply with mandatory education requirement #1 as described in the answer to the next frequently asked question.

h. Section 327.33(2), relating to careless operation
i. Section 327.37, relating to water skiing, aquaplaning, parasailing, and similar activities
j. Section 327.44, relating to interference with navigation
k. Violations relating to restricted areas and speed limits:

  1. Established by the commission pursuant to s. 327.46
  2. Established by local governmental authorities pursuant to s. 327.22 or s. 327.60
  3. Speed limits established pursuant to s. 370.12(2) 

l. Section 327.50(1) and (2), relating to required safety equipment, lights, and shapes
m. Section 327.33(3)(b), relating to navigation rules
n. Section 327.39(1), (2), (3), and (5), relating to personal watercraft
o. Section 327.395, relating to safety education
p. Section 327.52(3), relating to operation of overloaded or overpowered vessels
q. Section 327.52(3), relating to divers-down flags, except for violations meeting the requirements of s. 327.33
r. Section 327.391(1), relating to the requirement for an adequate muffler on an airboat
s. Section 327.391(3), relating to the display of a flag on an airboat 


Depending on my violations, what are the specific requirements that I must complete?


Requirement #1: You must enroll in, attend, and successfully complete at your own expense, an approved boating safety course. "Attend" means you must attend a classroom course or take the course on-line. Upon completion of this course, a certification of successful completion must be submitted within 90 days to:


Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
Division of Law Enforcement
Boating and Waterways Section
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600


Requirement #2: You must enroll in, attend, and successfully complete at your own expense, an approved safe boating course for violators. This course is in addition requirement #1 above. The course is only available online. Please go to www.boat-ed.com/floridaviolator/.


Remember, two-non-criminal infractions within 12 months = Requirement #1 above.


Any criminal boating violation or any infraction resulting in a boating accident = Requirements #1 and #2 above.


What can I do if I think there has been an error and don't think I should have to take either of these courses?

The information the FWC receives regarding the qualifying events (boating safety infractions/criminal boating violations) and the disposition of the cases comes from the local offices of the county clerks. Even if an FWC law enforcement officer issued the citations in a case, the FWC does not send out a notice of the requirement to take the course for violators until we receive information from a clerk's office that an individual has been convicted of the violation(s). Individuals should contact the clerk's office in the county where the violation(s) occurred in order to discuss or correct the records. A list of the Clerks of the Court can be found at http://www.flclerks.com/. If after contacting the Clerk's office, you determine that the notice may have been sent in error, please contact the FWC via e-mail through MEV@MyFWC.com.


Can I still operate a boat if I have not successfully completed the mandatory education for violators requirements?

No. For those persons subject to these mandatory education requirements, their privilege to operate a boat in Florida is suspended until proof of course completion is filed with the FWC.


How do I file proof of completion for either mandatory education course with the FWC so I can get back out on the water?


Requirement #1: Upon completion of the NASBLA/State of Florida-approved boating safety education course , a certification of successful completion must be submitted within 90 days to:


Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
Division of Law Enforcement
Boating and Waterways Section
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600


The responsibility of ensuring that proof of completion is sent to the FWC rests with the person who is required to complete the mandatory education. 


Requirement #2: Upon successful completion of the 4-hour online violator's course, the course provider will automatically send proof of completion to the FWC electronically. You should receive a certificate of completion from the course provider and should retain a copy of this certificate.

Note: The 4-hour online violator course is the only course where certification of completion is sent to the FWC electronically.

 

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FWC Facts:
A violation of federal navigation rules is also a violation of Florida law.

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