Do You Need a License to Drive a Boat? (Info for All 50 States)


Before we dive into the specific boating laws and requirements for each state, there are a few things that are important to know. One good thing to know, according to the website Boat-ed, is that once you receive a boating license that license is legitimate in any state that requires a boating license and it never expires! That means that after you take an official boating safety course and receive your license you are ready to travel on open waters!

As long as the class you take is offered by approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) then your license can take you to the waters of any of the 50 beautiful states. NASBLA is the board and community of all 50 states boating authorities. They set the standard for what needs to be taught in the boating course to be sure that everyone stays safe.

If you’re planning on going boating quite often and in many different places, it is suggested that you complete a NASBLA approved boating course. That way you are covered wherever and whenever you go boating.

While boating licenses may require the same education in each state, each state has its own unique specifications of who needs a license. That means even though you may not need a license in your state doesn’t mean you might not need it in another state. It is good practice to know what each states specifications are. The American Boating website offers a good synopsis of what each state requires. The following, of course, is just a list of general requirements. There may be exceptions and different rules depending on circumstances.

Alabama

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age 12 years old
Learning Age Period12-14 yrs old

In Alabama, it is required that anyone who is 12 years and older and is operating a boat on Alabama state waters are required to take a boating course. Anyone who is younger than 12 may not operate a boat whatsoever. From the age 12-14, a boater may only have a learner license only. They will be required to operate a boat only when a licensed driver over 21 is accompanying them.

Alaska

Boating Education RequiredNo, but recommended
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A

In the beautiful land full of breathtaking waterfronts, there are actually no requirements for boat licenses. While government and boat authorities do urge all boaters to take boating courses and receive a NASBLA approved license, they do not require it of boaters.

Arizona

Boating Education RequiredNo, but recommended
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A

Arizona does not require any boating education or license for boaters either. While this license and education are not required, again, is recommended. If the course is taken it can actually save you money on boat insurance! It is also handy if you want to boat anywhere other than the handful of states that don’t require any kind of boating education.

Arkansas

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1986

In Arkansas, it is required that anyone who is born on or after January 1, 1986, must take the boating course and get a boating license before boating on their state waters.

Arkansas wants to make it as easy and safe as possible on their waters. While they do require everybody of the legal boating age born in 1986 or later to be licensed, they now offer a convenient online boating course option. Randy Zellers quotes Alex Hinson (ACFC Boating Education Coordinator) saying the following.

“I personally feel that people get a lot more out of the in-person classes, especially younger students. There’s just more opportunity to have questions answered and clear up anything that a person might be confused about. But the new option is definitely more convenient.”

Alex Hinson

California

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredCalifornia Boater Card
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

California is a unique place to go boating. The way their regulations work is that they give everybody one chance. The only people that have to take a boating course is any boater who is convicted of a moving violation while boating. In the result of their blunder, they must take the boating safety course and successfully complete it before they can continue boating.

While general boaters don’t need a NASBLA approved license in California, as of January 2018 boaters are required to obtain and hold a California Boater Card. This card lasts a lifetime and is only $10. To obtain it, a boater must pass a Californian approved boating safety examination. As of 2018 when the requirement came out, anyone under 20 has to obtain this boater card. But, by 2025 boaters of all ages will be required to hold this card.

Colorado

Boating Education Requiredonly during learning period
Boating License Requiredno
Minimum Age 16
Learning Age Period14-15
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Colorado, any person who is operating a motorboat, or any vessel that is propelled through the water by machinery must be 16 years or older. People who are 14 or 15 though can operate a motorboat if they complete a state-approved boating safety course. But, after the age of 16, there is no boater education or license required.

Connecticut

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Connecticut, a boating safety course and a license are only required of those who own boats or vessels and/or anyone who is wishing or planning to boat more than 60 days out of the year. This means that renters and tourists who want a quick boating vacation out on the water do not have to get their license.

Delaware

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age 16
Learning Age Period14-16
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1978

Delaware requires anyone who was born on or after January 1, 1978, to take a boating course and receive a boating license. The boating course must be approved by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife. The minimum age requirement for boat operators is that they must be at least 14 years of age. Until 16 years old, a teenager must be accompanied by a licensed adult.

Florida

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1988

Any person born on or after January 1, 1988, must take the boating course and receive the license to operate a boat in Florida waters. Is required that the boating course is not only state-approved but it must be approved by the NASBLA. Either they take a NASBLA-approved course or they pass an approved equivalency exam to operate a vessel powered by 10 horsepower or greater motor (this includes PWC’s- personal watercraft).

Georgia

Boating Education RequiredDuring Learning Period
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 16
Learning Age Period12-15
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Georgia boaters between the ages of 12 to 15 need a license to operate certain vehicles on their own.

Under the age of 12, boaters are not allowed to operate a PWC or vessel that is longer than 16 feet. They may, however, operate a boat less than 16 feet in length, is powered by a motor less than 30 horsepower and only if they are accompanied by a competent adult in the boat.

Boaters between the age of 12 to 15 may not operate any vessel or boat 16 feet or longer. They may, however, operate a PWC or vessel less than 16 feet in length if they have passed a DNR approved boating course or are accompanied by a competent adult.

Boaters 16 years old or older may operate a vessel or PWC in Georgia waters if they have an identification card (ID) with them. This could be a driver’s license (or a copy of a license.), or any other government-issued ID that contains a description of the person, a photograph, and the date of birth. So something like a state ID would work.

Whether a learning license at a young age or a driver’s license once older, when on the water this must be carried with the boater at all times.

Hawaii

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age 15
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Hawaii, any person operating a motorboat, or any power-driven vessel with a motor that is more than 10 horsepower must take a NASBLA- approved boating safety course. When operating these boats the license and certificate of completion are required to be with the boater on the boat they’re operating at all times.

A boating license is also required for all operators of PWCs. In Hawaii to operate a PWC, you must be at least 15 years old. Because of the popularity of PWCs in Hawaii, they have cracked down on the expectations required from PWC operators to improve safety. According to Hawaii’s government page, PWC operators must complete two courses. One teaching basic PWC operation while the other teaches Tow-In Surfing. So along with the common license, these classes are also required.

Idaho

Boating Education RequiredOnly PWC
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Idaho, they rule the waters with the same mindset as California, with one small exception. They give everybody a chance. They give them one chance, and if they are convicted of an OUI (operating under the influence) or if they become repeat offenders of boating laws then they are required to complete boat education courses.

But, unlike California, they do have one standard requirement of PWC renters. All personal watercraft rental businesses must provide a certain level of education to all of the operators or riders of the PWC.

Illinois

Boating Education RequiredLaerning Age Only
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 10
Learning Age Period10-18
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1998

Any boaters older than 12 and under the age of 18 are required to receive a boating education certificate if wanting to operate a powered vessel (motorboat) on their own. Supervisors or boaters born on or after January 1, 1998, must have a valid Illinois Boating Safety Certificate if they are to be on the water, whether supervising or operating.

According to Boat-Ed, people between the ages of 10-11 are able to operate a vessel powered by a motor more powerful than 10 horsepower only if there is a licensed adult over the age of 18 supervising them.

Then between the ages of 12 and 18, a boater may only operate a motorboat with a motor of more than 10 horsepower if they have an Illinois Boating Safety Certificate or have a supervisor.

Indiana

Boating Education RequiredNo
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 15
Learning Age Period15
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Indiana, all vessel operators must possess a drivers license with them on the boat they are operating at all times. This license may be an Indianan or other valid government issued driver’s license. But it must be valid.

Fifteen-year-olds may have permission to operate a boat if they have taken and passed an Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) approved boating education course. From this, they must receive an Indiana Identification card from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

Iowa

Boating Education RequiredLearning Age Only
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-17
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Iowa, it is required that all 12-year-olds through 17 years olds who operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower or operate a PWC have some boat safety education. According to DMV, Iowa requires to attend and complete a boating safety course and then receive the certificate of completion. They do this rather than the usual license. So in Iowa, they look for these certificates of completion rather than a license.

But, if you are from out of state, and you do not want to or don’t have time to complete the course, Iowa officials do accept NASBLA-approved license’s as well.

Kansas

Boating Education Requiredyounger than 21
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-20
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1989

In Kansas, in order to operate a boat, anyone born on or after January 1, 1989, must attend and complete a boating safety course approved for by NASBLA. It is also required that anyone under the age of 21 years of age must obtain this education.

No one under the age of 12 can operate a vessel, motorboat or PWC in Kansas state waters unless accompanied by a supervisor 18 or older. Any person between 12 and 20 who wants to operate a vessel without supervision must complete an education course on boating.

Kentucky

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredKentucky Safe Boating Certificate Card
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-17
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Kentucky, as well as in most other places as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the minimum age requirements for boaters of motorboats (including PWC) more than 10 horsepower, is 12 years old. Between the ages of 12 and 17 years old, any boater needs to possess a Kentucky Safe Boating Certificate Card. If this isn’t available or if you’re a tourist, a certified completion of a NASBLA approved boater course does suffice.

Louisiana

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age Periodyounger than 16
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1984

In Louisiana, any operator under the age of 16 is required to attend the boating safety courses. As well as this, the Louisiana officials have passed a law that requires all boaters that are born after January 1, 1984, to complete boating safety education as well as carry the proof of completion of that course with them while boating.

Maine

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-16
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Maine, it is required that you must be 12 years of age to operate a motorboat with a horsepower more than 10 unless supervised by a licensed person who is at least the age of 16.

As for PWCs, no one under the age of 16 can legally operate a watercraft. As for 16 and 17-year-olds, they may only operate a personal watercraft if they have completed the proper safety education course or are accompanied by a person 18 years or older. As for anyone over the age of 18, they can operate in Maine without a license or certificate of completion.

Maryland

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 16
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationJuly 1, 1972

In Maryland, anyone who was born on or after July 1, 1972, must have a valid certificate of completion of boating safety education courses in order to operate a motorized vessel or PWC on Maryland state waters. The boating safety education must be approved by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in order to be valid. PWC operators must be at least 16 and possess the boating certificate of completion for the course.

Massachusetts

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-16
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

Massachusetts laws or requirements may sound familiar as you read through them, and that is because they are! Maine and Massachusetts are very similar in this aspect. Massachusetts requires that any boat operator between the age of 12 and 16 without adult supervision must earn and learn the ins and outs from a boating safety course.

Anyone younger than 16 cannot operate a PWC no matter what the circumstances are. PWC operators who are younger than 18 years old (so 16 and 17-year-olds) are required to attend and succeed at this boater safety education course.

Michigan

Boating Education RequiredYounger than 21
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-15
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Michigan, once you’ve reached the legal adult age of 21, you don’t need a license to operate a boat. But, before then it is required that you either have supervision or taken some kind of approved boating education course. If an education course is taken, the certificate of completion for that course is required to always be on the boat when you are operating it.

According to American Boating, boat operators younger than 12 may operate a boat powered by less than 6 horsepower legally without any kind of restrictions. They may operate a boat between 6 horsepower and 35 horsepower if supervised by someone 16 years old or older. They may never operate a boat over 35 horsepower though.

Boaters who are 12 to 15 years old may legally operate a boat powered by less than 6 horsepower without any kind of restrictions. As for a boat powered by more than 6 horsepower, they must have attended and completed a boating safety course approved by the DNR or are accompanied by someone at least 16 years old.

Minnesota

Boating Education RequiredLearning Age
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-17
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Minnesota, you must attend a boating course if between the ages of 12 to 17 years old if operating a motorboat that is over 25 horsepower.

PWC operators 14-17 must have either a Watercraft Operator’s permit or be supervised by someone over 21 years of age. PWC operators age 13 must have both the permit and be supervised.

Mississippi

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationJune 30, 1980

In Mississippi, anybody who was born on or after June 30, 1980, is required to attend and complete a boating course. This course must be approved by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks in order to be able to operate a motorized boat in Mississippi waters.

Missouri

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1984

In Missouri, anybody who is born on or after January 1, 1984, is required to attend and complete a boating course. In order for this course to count, it needs to be approved by the proper state authorities so that you can receive and then carry the required Missouri Boating Safety, Certification Card.

Montana

Boating Education RequiredLearning Age
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age Period13-14
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Montana, children of the ages 13 or 14 are required to complete a boating education course or be supervised by an adult. This is required if and when they are operating a motorboat or PWC with a motor great than 10 horsepower.

Nebraska

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age Period14-18
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1986

In Nebraska, an actual boating license is not required. Everyone born on or after January 1, 1986, is required to complete boating education before operating a boat though. The certificate that you receive from that boating education then serves as your “license” to operate a boat. There are also of course age restrictions and certain places that require different things. Certain rental properties will have different rules according to their liability insurance.

Boat operators between the age of 14 and 18 are required to be accompanied by a certified operator and/or taking the course themselves.

Nevada

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1983

In Nevada, anyone who was born on or after January 1, 1983, is required to complete a Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) approved boating course. You only need certification from an approved boating class if operating a boat that has a motor larger than 15 horsepower.

New Hampshire

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 16
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

Every operator operating a boat that has a motor with above 25 horsepower in New Hampshire must complete an approved boating education course. The youngest you can be to be certified is 16 years old.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, there are several boat education certificates that New Hampshire accepts.

  1. A boating certificate issued by another State agency and NASBLA approved.
  2. A boating certificate issued by the US Power Squadron.
  3. A boating certificate issued by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
  4. An unexpired commercial boating license issued by the US Coast Guard.
  5. An unexpired commercial boating license issued by the State of New Hampshire.

New Jersey

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age 16
Learning Age Period16-18
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In New Jersey, it is required that every power vessel operator carry a boating license. No matter the date of the birth of the operator, everyone is expected to receive the education to get a license.

The process of getting a license in New Jersey has two main steps. The first one is to complete a New Jersey State Police (NJSP) approved boating safety education course. This will allow you to get a certificate of completion, allowing you to do the next step.

After you complete the course you must get an initial motorboat or jet ski license. In order to do this, one must be at least 16. But, if one is younger than 17 parental approval and signature is required. To get this license one must visit a motor vehicle agency with the safety course certificate, 6 forms of ID and $18 to pay for the license fee.

New Mexico

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age Periodunder 13
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1989

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1989, is required to get a boating license if they want to boat on New Mexico interstate waters. As for specific age requirements and restrictions, there isn’t much. In order to take a boating course, there is no minimum age required. As for boat operators under the age of 13, they must have a Boater Education Card in order to operate any kind of sailboat, PWC or motorboat. They also must be under supervision by a certified adult.

New York

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age 10
Learning Age Period10-14
Date of Birth LimitationMay 1, 1996

The rules of the waterways in New York are quite intricate, yet sensible.

As for motorboat operation, a certificate of completion is required of everyone born on or after May 1, 1996. There are many approved courses that they offer, which makes it very convenient for the boater. Some of those places that offer approved courses are New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxilliary, and the U.S. Power Squadron.

You have to be at least 10 years old to take the course and be certified to be a boat operator. From the ages 10 to 14, it is required that the boat operator is accompanied and supervised by someone who is 18 years or older. To operate a PWC one must be at least 14 years old.

North Carolina

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age Period14-16
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1988

In order to operate a PWC in North Carolina between the ages of 14 to 16 years, one must have a license if they want to operate without supervision. If born on or after January 1, 1988, a NASBLA approved boating course must be successfully completed in order to operate a boat with an HP of 10 or higher.

North Dakota

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-15
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In order to operate a motorboat or PWC between the ages of 12 through 15, one must be accompanied by a person 18 years or older or have taken an approved boating course. Anyone under the age of 12 cannot operate a motorboat or PWC with a horsepower over 10 horsepower unless supervised by someone 18 or older.

Ohio

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-16
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1982

In Ohio, anyone who was born on or after January 1, 1982, must receive boating education and a license before operating a powerboat that is 10 horsepower or more. Children under the age of 12 are never allowed to operate a PWC under any circumstances whatsoever. Children aged 12 to 15 may operate if they have received an education certificate and there is an adult (18 or older) supervising them. People 16 or older can operate with a certificate.

Oklahoma

Boating Education RequiredLearning Age
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-16
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In order to operate a boat in Oklahoma between the ages of 12 to 16, one must have a certificate of completion from an approved boating course.

Oregon

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-16
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Oregon boat operators of a boat with more than 10 horsepower and over the age of 12 must complete safety education.

Pennsylvania

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 11
Learning Age Period11-16
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1982

In Pennsylvania anyone born on or after January 1, 1982, who desires to operate a motorboat with 25 or greater horsepower must receive the proper approved education. All operators of PWC are required to receive the education and license to operate legally. No children younger than 11 ever have permission to operate PWCs or motorboats.

Rhode Island

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1986

All operators of PWCs are required to take boat education classes and receive their license before they go out on the water. As for motorboats, anyone born on or after January 1, 1986, operating a boat of 10 or more horsepower is required the proper education.

South Carolina

Boating Education RequiredLearning age
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age Periodyounger than 16
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In South Carolina, anyone younger than 16 years old who wants to operate a boat powered by 15 horsepower or greater is required to take the proper boating courses.

South Dakota

Boating Education RequiredLearning age
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-14
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In South Dakota, no one under 12 years old can operate a motorboat propelled by a motor with greater than 6 horsepower unless someone over 18 is present on the boat. Anyone under the age of 14 should not operate a PWC unless there is someone older than 18 on the PWC as well.

Tennessee

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredN/A
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age Periodyounger than 12
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1989

Tennessee residents who are born on or after January 1, 1989, are required to take an exam that is proctored by the officials from the Tennessee Boater Education Certificate. Those younger than 12 years old must be supervised by a licensed adult. Those under 16 cannot rent a PWC.

Texas

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age Periodyounger than 13
Date of Birth LimitationSeptember 1, 1993

Boat operators older than 13 who were born on or after September 1, 1993, are required to get the proper education and license in order to legally operate a boat. The approved boater education course is required. The Texas Parks and Wildlife provide this course.

Utah

Boating Education RequiredLearning Period
Boating License RequiredYes
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period16-17
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

Any boat operator under 16 years old can only operate under the supervision of a certified adult. Between the ages of 16 to 17 operators must get approved boating education. After 18 boat operators have no restrictions.

Vermont

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 10
Learning Age Period10-12
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1974

In Vermont anyone born on or after January 1, 1974, is required to take boating courses in order to operate. No one under 10 may take the course to operate and receive a certificate of completion. Boat operators between the ages of 10 and 12 must take a classroom course of the needed boating safety information.

Virginia

Boating Education RequiredLearning Period
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 14
Learning Age Period14-15
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

Boat operators ages 14 -15 are required to take boating education courses to operate personal watercraft. On July 1, 2009, all boat operators were expected to start complying with the correct corresponding boat safety education as they started phasing the rules depending on the age.

As of July 1, 2016, the phasing was completed, and all motorboat operators of boats powered with 10 horsepower or greater are required no matter the age. PWC operators must be at least 14, and all PWC operators must take the proper courses.

Washington

Boating Education RequiredLearning Period
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-20
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

Any operators of boats powered with 15 horsepower or greater are required to receive proper boating education. Boat operators must be at least 12 years old. In 2008, boating education became mandatory for boaters under 20.

“In beginning January 2008 starting 12 to 20 years old and increasing age each year until fully implemented in 2014.”

American Boating

The Washington Boater Education Law, as many of the other states laws have age restrictions. This helps children mature into boating, and slowly be eased into the sport. Children ages 12 or older can operate a motorboat of more than 15 hp only if they have their Washington Boater Education Card. Boat operators older than 14 may operate a PWC if they have the Washington Boater Education Card.

West Virginia

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 12
Learning Age Period12-14
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1987

In West Virginia anyone born on or after January 1, 1987, is required to attend and complete a boating course in order to boat on West Virginia interstate waters. Boat operators between the ages 12 and 14 can only operate a motorboat or PWC if they complete the boating safety and if they are accompanied by a certified adult.

Wisconsin

Boating Education RequiredYes
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age 16
Learning Age PeriodN/A
Date of Birth LimitationJanuary 1, 1989

In Wisconsin, anyone born on or after January 1, 1989, and is over 16 years old are required to get a proper boating education. Without this, they cannot operate legally on the water.

Wyoming

Boating Education RequiredNo
Boating License RequiredNo
Minimum Age N/A
Learning Age Periodyounger than 16
Date of Birth LimitationN/A

In Wyoming, no one under the age of 16 may operate or be in any control of a motorized vessel or PWC unless someone 18 or older is present.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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