Upon completing the course you obtain a temporary boating card so that you can go boating right away. Don’t worry! If you paid for the lifetime course your permanent card is on its way. Most permanent cards either come in the mail or get added to the state DNR website for printing.
Note: States like Alabama do not offer a temporary card upon completing the online course. New Hampshire and New Jersey require an in-person proctored exam before getting a temporary certificate from the instructor.