New Boating Law Takes Effect in 2008 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Boating Law Takes Effect in 2008

RICHLAND, Wash.- The Coast Guard is trying to get the word out about a new boating law.

The law will require boaters to take a safety class before they can get a boating license.

A new round of the classes starts Tuesday in Richland, but now, you can take the class online.

The State of Washington is offering the class over the Internet.

The new law takes effect in 2008, when all people 20 and under will have to take the class, and taking the class means more than just getting your license.

Coast Guard officials said boaters that have taken the class are not only safer, they also get cheaper insurance, and even though the class is online now, some think taking it in person is more effective.

"What we think is about 50 percent of the class material comes from those who're teaching the class like ourselves in the coast guard auxiliary, and the other 50% comes from all the other boaters around you, your classmates," said John Umbarger with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. 

Each year after 2008, the minimum age to boat without a license will go up by five years.

However, if you were born before 1955, you never need to take the class.