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Safety Education

Sign up for a safety education course

Requirements for all safety education courses

All Wisconsin recreational safety students are required to obtain a Wisconsin DNR Customer ID Number when registering for a safety education class and must provide that number to their instructor.

The following are the Wisconsin approved courses. Any courses other than the ones listed below will not be recognized in the state of Wisconsin.

Course objectives

To reduce the potential for accidents, injuries and fatalities; to reduce the potential for conflict between participants, landowners and other resource users; and to promote safe, responsible and ethical use of the environment and our resources.

Enroll in a recreational safety education class.

ATV/OHM

ATV education students on the trail

ATV education students on the trail

Traditional ATV courses will remain cancelled until further notice.

ATV course requirements

Anyone who operates an ATV on public riding areas - e.g. trails, frozen waters, routes, permitted county and/or forest lands - who is at least age 12 years of age and who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, must have completed a safety certification course. These ATV operators must carry their safety certification card and they must display it to law enforcement officers when requested.

Anyone is eligible to take the class and receive a safety education completion certificate. For children under 12 years of age, the certificate does not become valid until the child reaches 12. Students with special needs must contact the instructor at least two weeks in advance of the course to request special accommodations.

Course information

Instruction emphasizes laws and regulations, ethics, personal safety and the proper use of all-terrain vehicles.

Length of course

This course requires a minimum of six hours but may be longer depending on the instructor.

Class availability

Courses vary depending on the area of the state and time of the year. There is at least one class per county per year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course.

Cost of course

$10 for a traditional classroom. $15-$30 for internet courses.

Internet courses

Operators of all-terrain vehicles now have a convenient online method to receive ATV safety certification through Internet web courses. The Internet courses are available at:

Off-highway motorcycles education courses

Operators of off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) can only receive safety certification through web courses. Students can take a course at any age, but the certification is not valid until they turn 12 years of age.

Previous Wisconsin ATV Safety graduates need only complete the OHM Safety certification short course which is free and offered online at ATVcourse.com [exit DNR] or Wisconsin ATV Rider's Ed Course [exit DNR].

Operators in need of both OHM and ATV safety certification may complete the online combination course available at either ATVcourse.com [exit DNR] or Wisconsin ATV Rider's Ed Course [exit DNR].

Boating

Adults and children boating safely

Adults and children boating safely

Traditional boating courses will remain cancelled until further notice.

Boating course requirements

Wisconsin boating safety certification or out of state equivalent certification is required for operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1989. Anyone is eligible to take the class and receive a safety education completion certificate, however, courses are designed at a 5th-grade level or up. Please read the boating regulations [exit DNR] for full details.

Who may operate a boat

  • A person younger than 10 years may not operate a motorboat.
  • A person 10 or 11 years old may operate a motorboat only if accompanied by a parent, a guardian, or a person at least 18 years old who is designated by the parent or guardian AND the parent, guardian, or designated adult holds a valid boating safety certificate or was born before January 1, 1989.
  • A person 12-15 years old may operate a motorboat only if:
    • He or she is accompanied by a parent, a guardian, or a person at least 18 years old who is designated by the parent or guardian AND the parent, guardian, or designated adult holds a valid boating safety certificate or was born before January 1, 1989. OR…
    • He or she has completed a boating safety course that is accepted by the Wisconsin DNR.
  • A person who was born on or after January 1, 1989 and who is 16 years of age or older may operate a motorboat only if:
    • He or she has completed a boating safety course that is accepted by the Wisconsin DNR OR...
    • He or she is accompanied by another person in the motorboat who is at least 18 years of age AND that person holds a valid boating safety certificate or was born before January 1, 1989.
  • There are no age requirements for operating a boat that is not equipped with a motor.

Who may operate a personal watercraft

  • No one under the age of 12 may operate, lease or rent a personal watercraft.
  • No one under the age of 16 may rent or lease a personal watercraft.
  • Children at least 12 years of age may operate a personal watercraft if they have successfully completed the DNR prescribed boating safety course and possess a boating safety certificate issued by the Wisconsin DNR or another state. Adult supervision is not a substitute for a certificate.

Wisconsin boat rental education certificate program details

  • Must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Renting or leasing a motorboat or personal watercraft from a licensed watercraft rental agent.
  • The certificate is valid until the end of the calendar year in which it is issued.
  • Can only be used by the person to whom it was issued.
  • Can only be used to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft which is rented or leased by the holder of the certificate.

Course information

Instruction emphasizes navigation, laws, ethics, personal safety and the proper use of boats.

Class availability

Courses vary depending on the area of the state and time of the year. There is at least one class per county per year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course.

Cost of course

$10 for a traditional classroom. $30 for internet courses.

Internet courses

Boat operators now have convenient online methods to receive boat safety certification through internet courses.

  • Boat education course [exit DNR]: ·This course offers interactive instruction for all learning styles. The three-hour course is split into short segments that are designed for easy comprehension and quick learning. Log out and the course "remembers" where you left off, so you can jump right back in after a few hours or days. This course has the identical text that students study in DNR's classroom courses, colorfully illustrated with more than 200 realistic drawings, more than an hour of streaming videos and interactive animations. Customer support is available 16 hours a day, seven days a week via email or a toll-free number.
  • BoaterExam [exit DNR]: This course is suitable for boaters of any age and reading skills because students can choose to hear the material as well as see it. The course features hundreds of rich engaging boating videos and animations and the ability for students to "bookmark" where they are, making it easier to return to complete the course later. This course takes a minimum of three hours to complete. From a laptop to mobile phone to tablet, choose when and where to take your boating course with this mobile-friendly online course.
  • Wisconsin-approved boat rental course [exit DNR] for Wisconsin residents and visitors who do not already possess a valid boating education certificate, but who wish to rent a boat or PWC to operate on Wisconsin waters. The course covers all the information you’ll need to know to receive your temporary boating certificate. The entire course can be taken on a smartphone, tablet or computer. Using interactive animations, realistic illustrations and video, the course covers, Wisconsin legal requirements, navigation rules, safe personal watercraft operation, casting off and docking, plus more. Upon completing the course you will be issued a temporary boating certificate, allowing you to legally rent a boat or PWC anywhere in Wisconsin. Sign up and complete your course today.

Looking for additional boating education options?

  • U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary [exit DNR] boating courses provide instruction to boaters at all levels, from the fundamental to the advanced. Classes are taught by experienced and knowledgeable instructors committed to the highest standards of the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Paddle Sports Safety Course [exit DNR]; A free online paddling safety course for new paddlers to learn the basics and as a great refresher for experienced paddlers. The course does not certify a person to operate a motorboat but is a great learning tool.
  • ACA-Approved Paddle Sports Safety Course; [exit DNR] American Canoe Association approved course offered through Boat-Ed. Although paddle sports education is not required, all participants are responsible for learning the state laws and regulations to stay safe on the water.

Hunting

In-person classes are being offered! Click "Enroll" above to participate.

HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1973, must complete a hunter education course and have a hunter education safety certificate on file to purchase any hunting license in Wisconsin. However, if they will be hunting under the hunting mentorship program or they have successfully completed and have proof of completing basic training in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard, they do not need a hunter education safety certificate to purchase a hunting license.

BENEFITS OF CERTIFICATION

Hunter education graduates receive a certificate that is accepted in every state, Canada and Mexico. For Wisconsin residents, a first-time hunter education graduate may use the Wisconsin hunter education certificate in lieu of a small game hunting license from the date of issuance until March 31 of the following year. Those qualifying do not need to purchase a small game license; the certificate is the license for the established time period. First-time graduates are also exempt from the requirement to purchase the pheasant and state waterfowl stamps while the certificate is valid for small game hunting. This does not exempt a person from the requirement to purchase goose permits, a federal waterfowl stamp if age 16 and over or from becoming HIP registered.

COURSE OPTIONS

1. ONLINE-ONLY HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE

COURSE INFORMATION

Students take the online-only hunter education course that has the same general content as the other hunter education options. Students work through online units, take multiple-choice quizzes and then take a final multiple-choice exam. Upon successfully completing of all portions of the course, the student is awarded a hunter education safety certificate. This online-only hunter education course is designed for students that have prior hunting and/or firearms handling experience. If you do not have prior hunting or firearms handling experience, it is highly recommended that you take a traditional or internet field day course to receive one-on-one firearms handling and training with a certified Hunter Education Instructor.

Hunter Education Course FAQs [PDF]

LENGTH OF COURSE

This course takes between 4 and 6 hours to complete.

AGE RESTRICTIONS

Until further notice students of any age may take the online-only hunter education course to receive hunter education safety certification.

COURSE AVAILABILITY

The online-only hunter education course is completed entirely online. The only DNR-approved online only hunter education course is: Online Only Hunter Education Course [exit DNR]

COST OF COURSE

$24.50 online course fee + $10 state fee per student

2. HUNTER INTERNET FIELD DAY COURSE

NOTICE: Students that successfully complete the hunter internet field day online course MUST attend an in-person field day to earn their hunter education safety certification.

COURSE INFORMATION

Students must enroll in an in-person field day course and then complete the hunter internet field day online course prior to attending the field day. The online portion of the course requires students to work through online units and complete multiple-choice quizzes. Upon successfully completing all portions of the hunter internet field day online course, the student is awarded a field day voucher. Students must present the field day voucher to attend the in-person field day course they enrolled in. Students will reinforce what they learned online through hands-on firearm handling, demonstrations and practical exercises. The students take a multiple-choice exam and complete a hands-on, skills-based assessment. Upon successfully completing of all portions of the field day course, the student is awarded a hunter education safety certificate.

LENGTH OF COURSE

This hunter internet field day online course takes 4-6 hours to complete online. The required in-person field day component takes 6-8 hours to complete.

AGE RESTRICTIONS

Students of any age may take a hunter internet field day course. The course is taught at a 6th grade reading level.

COURSE AVAILABILITY

Hunter internet field day course availability varies depending on the area of the state and time of year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course. Select “Internet Field Day” under course type. The field day is mandatory to earn your hunter education safety certification. After enrolling in an in-person field day, complete the hunter internet field day online course prior to the field day.

The only DNR-approved hunter internet field day online course is: Hunter Internet Field Day Online Course [exit DNR]

COST OF COURSE

$0.00 online course fee + $10 per student paid directly to the instructor at the field day course.

3. TRADTIONAL HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE

COURSE INFORMATION

Students attend a multi-day, in-person course where students learn hunter responsibility and safety through lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, practical exercises and individual study. The students take a multiple-choice exam and complete a hands-on, skills-based assessment based on information found in the printed student manual and taught during class. Upon successfully completing of all portions of the course, the student is awarded a hunter education safety certificate.

LENGTH OF COURSE

This course varies in length depending on the instructor but may not be longer than 19 total hours.

AGE RESTRICTIONS

Students of any age may take a traditional hunter education course. The course is taught at a 6th grade reading level.

COURSE AVAILABILITY

Traditional hunter education course availability varies depending on the area of the state and time of year. There is at least one class per county per year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course. Select “Hunter” under course type.

COST OF COURSE

$10 per student paid directly to the instructor at the course.

Snowmobile

In-person classes are being offered! Click "Enroll" above to participate!

Snowmobilers on the trail
Snowmobilers on the trail

Snowmobile course requirements

Any person who is born on or after Jan. 1, 1985 and who has reached the age of 12, must have completed and received a snowmobile safety certificate in order to operate a snowmobile in Wisconsin. The certificate must be carried while operating the snowmobile and displayed to a law enforcement officer upon demand.

This does not apply to the operation of snowmobiles upon lands owned or leased by the operator's parent or guardian. Leased lands do not include lands leased by an organization of which said operator or the operator's parent or guardian is a member.

No person under the age of 12 may operate a snowmobile unless the person is accompanied either by a parent or guardian or by a person over 18 years of age. Accompanied means to be on the same snowmobile as the operator.

Other states and provinces that issue a snowmobile safety certificate to snowmobilers will be honored in Wisconsin.

Course information

The snowmobile safety course consists of six hours of basic instruction in the principles of snowmobile safety. The course is comprised of six hours of classroom study and an optional two hours of hands-on snowmobile operation or optional snowmobile ride simulation.

Length of course

This course requires a minimum of eight hours but may be longer depending on the instructor and the student's learning ability.

Class availability

Courses vary depending on the area of the state and time of the year. There is at least one class per county per year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course.

Cost of course

$10

Internet courses

Operators of snowmobiles have an online method to receive snowmobile safety certification. The internet courses are available at Snowmobile Ed [exit DNR] and Snowmobilecourse.com [exit DNR]. Students must be 16 years of age or older in order to become certified by these online courses.

Bowhunting education

In-person classes are being offered! Click "Enroll" above to participate.

BOWHUNTER EDUCATION COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1973, must complete a hunter education course OR bowhunter education course and have a hunter education OR archery education safety certificate on file to bow hunt in Wisconsin. However, if they will be hunting under the hunting mentorship program or they have successfully completed and have proof of completing basic training in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard, they do not need a hunter education or bowhunter education safety certificate to purchase a hunting license.

Completion of a bowhunter education course only authorizes hunting with a bow or crossbow and authorizes the person to obtain the following licenses:

  • a resident archer hunting license;
  • a nonresident archer hunting license;
  • a resident crossbow hunting license;
  • a nonresident crossbow hunting license.

BENEFITS OF CERTIFICATION

While Wisconsin allows both a hunter education or an archery education safety certificate to bowhunt, numerous other states and certain federal properties do require an archery education safety certificate from a course approved the National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) in order to bowhunt. Wisconsin has adopted the NBEF International Bowhunter Education Program and our course is acknowledged and accepted worldwide.

COURSE OPTIONS

1. ONLINE-ONLY BOWHUNTER EDUCATION COURSE

COURSE INFORMATION

Students take the online-only bowhunter education course that has the same general content as the other bowhunter education options. Students work through online units, take multiple-choice quizzes and then take a final multiple-choice exam. Upon successfully completing of all portions of the course, the student is awarded an archery education safety certificate.

LENGTH OF COURSE

This course takes between 4 and 6 hours to complete.

AGE RESTRICTIONS

Students of any age may take the online-only bowhunter education course to receive archery education safety certification.

COURSE AVAILABILITY

The online-only bowhunter education course is completed entirely online. The only DNR-approved online-only bowhunter education course is:

Online-Only Bowhunter Education Course [exit DNR]

COST OF COURSE

$30.00 online course fee

2. TRADITIONAL BOWHUNTER EDUCATION COURSE

COURSE INFORMATION

Students attend an in-person course where students learn bowhunter responsibility and safety through lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, practical exercises and individual study. The students take a multiple-choice exam based on information found in the printed student manual and taught during class. Upon successfully completing of all portions of the course, the student is awarded an archery education safety certificate.

LENGTH OF COURSE

This course varies in length depending on the instructor but must be at least five total hours.

AGE RESTRICTIONS

Students of any age may take a traditional bowhunter education course. The course is taught at a 6th grade reading level.

COURSE AVAILABILITY

Traditional bowhunter education course availability varies depending on the area of the state and time of year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course. Select “Archery” under course type.

COST OF COURSE

$10 per student paid directly to the instructor at the course.

3. ADD-ON BOWHUNTER EDUCATION COURSE

COURSE INFORMATION

Proof of a previous hunter education safety certificate is required to participate in the add-on bowhunter education course. Students attend an in-person course where students learn bowhunter responsibility and safety through lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, practical exercises and individual study. The students take a multiple-choice exam based on information found in the printed student manual and taught during class. Upon successfully completing of all portions of the course, the student is awarded an archery education safety certificate.

LENGTH OF COURSE

This course varies in length depending on the instructor but must be at least five total hours.

AGE RESTRICTIONS

Students of any age may take an add-on bowhunter education course. The course is taught at a 6th grade reading level.

COURSE AVAILABILITY

Add-on bowhunter education course availability varies depending on the area of the state and time of year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course. Select “Archery” under course type.

COST OF COURSE

$10 per student paid directly to the instructor at the course.

Certificate replacement

Obtaining a duplicate safety education certificate

Should your Wisconsin safety education certificate become lost or destroyed, you may obtain another copy in one of three ways:

  • print yourself from your Go Wild account online at GoWild.WI.Gov. Once logged into your account and at your homepage, click on "Student Dashboard" in the Safety Education section, and then click the "Print Awarded Certificates" icon to print for free;
  • visit a Go Wild license agent; or
  • visit a DNR Service Center during their regular scheduled hours.