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Attention hunters: Visit our FAQ page for information about the use of centerfire, single-shot rifles for deer hunting in Illinois. 

Safety Education

There are four Mandatory Safety Education Programs:

Classes are FREE and taught by Volunteer Instructors at various times throughout the year. The programs are primarily designed to train young people between the ages of 12 and 18. The educational material is based on a sixth-grade reading level. However we encourage persons of all ages to participate in the programs.

All Mandatory Safety Education classes require minimum hours of instruction by law. The primary objectives of the Mandatory Safety Education Program are to teach user responsibility, respect, and safety.

Who Teaches Safety Education Courses?

State certified volunteer instructors throughout the state spend hours teaching boating, hunter, trapper and snowmobile safety education classes. The volunteer instructor staff is made up of men and women who donate thousands of hours of their personal time offering safety courses to many communities. These dedicated individuals form the backbone of the Safety Education Programs.

What Should You Bring To A Safety Education Course?

Unless specifically directed by the instructor or announced publicly, the only items you will need to bring are a pencil and a note pad. Manuals and handouts are provided free by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

General Information

  • Persons of all ages are encouraged to participate in Safety Education Classes.

  • Classes are open to the public and federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or handicap.

  • It is the policy of IDNR that youth under the age of (10) must be accompanied to and during the safety education courses by an adult or guardian at least sixteen years of age.

Mere attendance of a safety education training and taking a written test will not guarantee the passing of this course. Multiple criteria such as mental and physical acuity, the ability to demonstrate and recognize safe procedures, attitude and the maturity level of each individual student will be a factor assessed by the instructors in the final certification process.

Students are required to complete a final written exam on their own abilities, without assistance from parents or guardians, unless other arrangements have been discussed and agreed upon with the class instructors.

If you have questions about classes in your area or you are interested in becoming a volunteer instructor, please contact the Regional Volunteer Services Coordinator (VSC) for your region.

If you have lost your safety card, please click here​ and search using your information. If your card is not found, you will be able to fill out a request so we can manually search for your record. If you record is not found, you will need to attend a class.