The temporary certificate you receive at the end of your course will have an expiration date. It is meant to provide you with a means to boat before the permanent version of your certification is made available.
The duration of the temporary certificate depends on the state or province you are certifying for. There are a few ways you can determine how long your certificate is valid for. If you have a copy of your certification there will be an expiration date listed on it.
If you do not have your certificate yet, to find out the time frame, you can visit our "State by State information" section for detailed info.