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PADI replacement scuba certification card - $40!
Greg - 9/12/2020 9:24 AM
Category: General
Replies: 16

I’m a little bit shocked that PADI wants to charge $40 for a replacement scuba certification card. My old card has a crack in it...but I think I’ll keep it a little longer especially since PADI wants to charge $40 for a piece of plastic.

That’s on top of the annual membership fees I already pay them for my instructor rating.

They should offer members in good standing a free replacement card once every 5 years.

What do you think?
seanw - 9/12/2020 12:04 PM
Yea, it’s exorbitant, but they’re owned by a private equity firm so I’m not surprised. It’ll blow your mind when you learn they also charge the same for E-cards. Heck, they give the ecard to you for 30 days and then try and sell it to you for $40 after that expires.

I find it hard to get worked up about cards for instructors since they’ve got a willing business relationship with PADI so I see it as a cost of doing business. There are still a ton of rec divers out there with the same problem and no leverage.

I think a fair solution for both parties would be along the lines of putting all the ratings on one card so that when you complete a class you get an updated card. It would be an incentive to keep taking classes and still keep providing PADI with income.
Eric_R - 9/13/2020 1:14 PM
warrenhulk - 9/16/2020 2:47 PM
Exactly! My opinion, PADI should give all scuba ratings the e-card version for free. Sell the piece of plastic to you later. (if you want or need it.) $40 is insane given the a mount of money already spent.
awetmedic - 10/23/2020 6:27 PM
I can no longer afford to teach PADI courses and have been teaching NAUI. I have noticed many other dive shops dropping PADI and hundreds of dive organizations start popping up with PADI instructors jumping ship. PADI was my favorite system but now it is just too dang expensive to teach.
seanw - 10/23/2020 8:37 PM
Kinda curious here — what are the agency costs of instructing? Is the problem with annual dues or the per-class fees?
awetmedic - 10/24/2020 10:10 AM
The last time I checked the student was paying close to $150 to enroll in online training. This is typically what most other shops charge for pool and classroom. How do I pay for pool, equipment and labor costs when PADI is already charging the same for classroom as other shops are charging for pool and classroom?

When I check my students knowledge after the course, I find that I have to go back over the material being taught online just as any other instructor knows that online training by itself is not as good as in person.

The renewal fees have always gone up, that isn’t as big of a problem as making my courses to expensive to compete. NAUI is $40 for their online training including the card that PADI charges $40 for.

I have some other issues from PADI, but that is something else.
awetmedic - 10/24/2020 10:12 AM
I just looked at one source, it says online o/w training is $190
warrenhulk - 10/24/2020 11:25 AM
That $190 is purely for academics only. Aka: written portion. Most shops are going to charge around $150 for pool time, and an additional $150-200 for the open water checkout dives. Plan on a minimum of $500 to get from zero to certified. And that’s not going to count gas money, lodging, and meals if you have to travel to a remote dive location to finish up. Also worth noting, someone with additional learning needs might spend a little more if one on one time with an instructor is required. The prices I just threw out there are usually for a group setting.
awetmedic - 10/24/2020 11:28 AM
Yes, for example the largest dive shop around Atlanta charges around $400 for a complete course including open water certification.
seanw - 10/24/2020 11:36 AM
Yea, that’s why I was interested in the differences between agencies. Pool time, gas, etc, should all be the same. If I understand it correctly, the only difference in the cost basis for the instructor between agencies is the academics part, the card issuance, and annual instructor dues.

I’m in Northern VA and it’s around $800 to get certified which includes everything from academics to the quarry fees. There’s some minor variations such as going to a different agency or if you are willing to drive a bit to find a shop with lower real estate/pool costs, but it’s at most $100 cheaper. So I wasn’t sure if PADI was really that much more expensive, or maybe if the shops that teach for other agencies are able to keep more of the money for themselves.

Does that $190 (or whatever the online course costs) go entirely to PADI or does the referring shop get a cut?
awetmedic - 10/24/2020 12:29 PM
I know that independent instructors do not get a cut! I am sure that there are all sorts of fees you have to pay to get a cut if you are a PADI facility, if you get a cut. In your case, a class of 6 divers means PADI is getting about $1500 or 20% of the gross.
digginwithseven - 11/10/2020 5:00 PM
As an instructor and paying an annual fee, you would think they would replace it at no charge. I could see charging just a diver a replacement fee, but not someone that is working and making them money each year.
Hank-NYC - 7/06/2021 11:53 AM
I’m a little late here. I thought if you use the app - all certs are listed for free and you don’t have to worry about a physical card.
AntBoy - 9/17/2021 9:08 AM

No Sir. the PADI app is basically a gateway for PADI to get their ads into your life and to spam you, and to keep their database they sell to third parties for "products you may be interested in" updated with your email, your photo, your phone number, your address, DOB, and your GPS location. Basically PADI collects everything needed to commit identity theft.

If you want to see your certs or do anything an app is actually supposed to do, you have to buy the "code", they send the code to your email you registered with, then you enter the code into their app. Then they have your name, address, DOB, GPS location, photo, email, phone number, and your credit card number.

That’s why PADI sold for 700 million dollars a few years ago. The value was the consumer identity marketing goldmine, not the scuba diving training.
Wilke - 11/01/2021 11:30 AM
You can get your PADI instructor certs on the Pro site for free. You’ll need to use the old system and takes about seven hours to find it, but they’re there.
NinoB - 7/25/2022 3:09 PM
This motivates me to keep my ‘c-card’ with my dive gear (and logbook) instead of in my wallet. Less wear & tear on the card. I concur that PADI ought to provide replacement cards at a more-reasonable cost. At least, be more transparent on their card replacement policy. I’m disappointed that PADI doesn’t take more care of their certified instructors.