PADI scuba diving certification cards

Lost your PADI diving certification card? You’re not the first person to do it, and you won’t be the last! So, here’s our quick guide on what to do when you lose your PADI diving card!

Diving Certification

A diving certification card is the proof that you have completed that particular training. It is used by instructors and dive centers to verify your diving training around the world.

Read More: How Long Does a Diving Certification Last?

Once you have completed your training and your instructor has processed your details in the PADI system, your card is sent out to your physical address, anywhere around the world. For this reason, you should allow a few weeks after your diving course to receive your PADI diving card. In the meantime, you will get a temporary certificate sent to your email address, allowing you to go out there and dive straight after your cerification.

Your PADI Diving Card

Your PADI diving card is a physical card that lists the following;

  • Student Name:
  • Student Birthdate:
  • Unique Student Certification Number:
  • Certification Date:
  • Certification Level:
  • Your Instructor’s Name:
    Dive Center:

You will receive a new card for each level’s course that you complete, eg. Open Water certification, Advanced Open Water, Rescue, and for each speciality.

Read More: Types of Scuba Diving Certifications & Levels

There are also PADI diving cards for professional courses, eg. Divemaster, Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI), Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT), and for each specialty that you can teach.

Your instructor will usually give you the option to choose a standard certification card, limited edition or Project AWARE® card, or to go digital with a PADI eCard.

Lost My PADI Diving Certificate

So, let’s say, you (like countless others before you!) end up losing your diving certificate or card. All you need to do is to order a replacement card online or through your nearest PADI Dive Center or Resort.

Do I Need My PADI Card To Dive?

Technically, you do not need your physical card to scuba dive. Dive centers will need to verify and check that you are a certified diver, but most dive centers can do this online within the PADI system. They will need the following:

  • Your name (including any initials you used in the original certification)
  • Your birthdate

Most dive centers will also accept a copy of your certification email that you should have received after your certification.

Pro Tip: Once certified, you should screen shot your temporary certification card from your email. Keep this screen shot on your phone or in a safe place that you can access.

If the dive center is not a PADI center, and cannot access the PADI database to verify your certification, then you can also email the PADI certifications department online. A reply may take a few days so it is recommended to do this prior to your diving trip.

Is it Illegal to Dive without Certification?

No, it is not illegal to dive without a certification.

Read More: Do You Need to be Certified?

You can certainly try a Discover Scuba Dive, which is a try dive with a professional instructor. You will not be certified to dive, but you will be given the basic skills and the opportunity to go on a scuba dive. You will receive a paper certificate and an email confirmation of your try dive. You can then choose to upgrade to the first level of certification by signing up for your Open Water Diver certification!

Emma was initially terrified of the deep ocean but dived into scuba diving in 2013, and hasn't looked back since! She worked as an underwater videographer for several years and is now a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. She currently runs a dive shop on the island of Koh Tao in Thailand and is the founder of Down To Scuba.