Boating Education Requirements in each US State

Boating Education Requirements by State:

Boating Education Requirements - National Comparison charts by state
Education Requirements – National Comparison (Nasbla)

Find out if your state requires mandatory boating safety education

StateDoes your state require mandatory boating safety education for some segment of the population?Who is required to complete a boating education course in your state?Are only residents of your state required to complete a boating education course?Other, please specify
AlabamaYes In general, anyone 12 years old or older who operates a vessel on state waters.  No  
AlaskaNo No one Other, please specify See 11 
American SamoaYes PWC operators 18 and under   
ArizonaNo Only volunteer boating safety education instructors for the agency. Other, please specify N/A 
ArkansasYes Anyone born on or after January 1, 1986 No  
British Columbia    
CaliforniaYes State law allows courts to order any boat operator that is convicted of a moving violation. Violators must take and successfully complete course No  
ColoradoYes A person 14 YOA or older, who is less than 16 YOA, may operate a motorboat only if he or she has completed an approved boating safety course. No  
ConnecticutYes All residents or owners of real property or anyone wishing to boat morethan 60 days in a year Other, please specify also people boating greater than 60 days per year 
DelawareYes any person born on or after Jan 1st 1978 No  
District of ColumbiaYes All persons No  
FloridaYes Operators of vessels powered by motors of 10hp or more who are 21 years of age, or younger. In addition, anyone convicted of a criminal boating violation, a non-criminal boating safety infraction that resulted in a boating accident, or two non-criminal boating safety infractions with in a twelve-month period is required to enroll, attend and successfully complete a classroom boating safety course. No  
GeorgiaYes Age 12 to 15 to operate certain vessels on their own. No  
HawaiiYes All operators of PWCs No  
IdahoNo People renting a PWC, boat operators convicted of OUI, repeat offenders of boating laws   
IllinoisYes  persons at least 12 years old and less than 18 years old, if they wish to operate a motorboat by themselves No   
IndianaYes All vessel operators are required to possess a valid drivers license with exception of 15 yr olds who have taken and passed a boater education course and possesses an Indiana Identification card. Yes  
IowaYes 12 through 17 year olds who operate a motorboat over 10 h.p. or a PWC. No  
KansasYes anyone born on or after January 1, 1989 and under 21 years of age regardless of date of birth. No  
KentuckyYes Those between the ages of 12 and 17 No  
LouisianaYes under the age of 16 No  
MaineYes 16 & 17 yr. olds who will operate a PWC. No  
Manitoba (Canada)    
MarylandYes Anyone born on or after July 1, 1972 who is operating a motorized vessel on MD waters must have a valid certificate of boating safety education No  
MassachusettsYes Any person of at least 12 years of age and less than 16 yoa, operating a motorboat without adult supervision. PWC users 16 and 17 years of age. (PWC’s cannot be operated by youth less than 16 yoa).  No   
MichiganYes Those less than 12 years of age: May operate a boat powered by a motor of no more than 6 horsepower (hp) legally without restrictions. May operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 6 hp but no more than 35 hp legally only if they are directly supervised on board by a person at least 16 years of age. May not operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 35 hp legally under any conditions. Those 12 to 15 years of age: May operate a boat powered by a motor of no more than 6 hp legally without restrictions. May operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 6 hp legally only if they: Have passed a boating safety course approved by the Department of Natural Resources and have on board their boating safety certificate or … Are accompanied on board by a person at least 16 years of age   
MinnesotaYes Ages 12-17 to operate a motorboat over 25 HP Other, please specify Any boat operator 12-17 y/o resident or non res  
MississippiYes Persons born after June 30, 1980 No  
MissouriYes Any person born after January 1, 1984 No  
Montanayes Youth 13 and 14 years of age must either complete a boating education course or be accompanied by an adult in order to operate a motorboat or PWC with a motor greater than 10 horsepower. No  
NebraskaYes all motorboat operators 14 to 18 No  
Nevadayes Persons born on or after Jan. 1 1983 who operate motorboats of more than 15 hp on interstate waters. Other, please specify People from states with a requirement must meet it 
New HampshireYes Everyone 16 years of age or older operating a vessel over 25 horsepower.  No  
New JerseyYes All PWC operators, all other power vessel operators born in 1959 and later June 1, 2008, all other power vessel operators boarn in 1949 and later. June 1, 2009, all power vessel operators, regardless of DOB  No  
New MexicoYes Those born on or after Jan 1, 1989. No  
New YorkYes operators of pwc over the age of 14 children between the age of 10 and 18 that want to operate a mechanically proppled boat, other than a pwc, alone No  
North CarolinaYes PWC operators between 14 and 16 years of age if they want to operate on their own.  No  
North DakotaYes No person of twelve through fifteen years of age may operate a motorboat (includes personal watercraft, i.e. jetskis, etc.) propelled by over a ten horsepower motor unless the operator is accompanied by a person eighteen years of age or older or the operator has taken and passed a boating course approved by the Department. No  
Northern Mariana IslandsNo All No  
OhioYes Anyone born on or after January 1, 1982 who operates a powerboat greater than 10 horsepower.  No  
OklahomaYes All persons from 12 to less than 16 years of age.  No   
Ontario (Canada)    
OregonYes boaters 12 and older operating a motorboat greater than 10 horsepower Yes  
PennsylvaniaYes Operators born after January 1, 1982 to operate motorboats greater than 25 horsepower and all operators of PWC. No  
Puerto RicoYes All borned after July 1rst, 1972 Yes  
Quebec (Canada)    
Rhode IslandYes All PWC Operators and anyone born after 1-1-86 operating a vessel powered by an engine of 10 or more horsepower Other, please specify We require PWC renters to take a course 
South CarolinaYes Persons younger than 16 years of age that operate a boat powered by 15 horsepower greater engine by themselves.   
South DakotaNo NA Other, please specify NA 
TennesseeYes TN Resident born after 1/1/89 must pass a proctored exam No Any person (resident or non-resident) who was born after Jan. 1, 1989 must show proof they have completed an approved NASBLA course.  
TexasYes  Operators between ages 13-17 years  No   
UtahYes Personal Watercraft operators 12 through 17 years old No  
VermontYes Any person born after January 1, 1974. No  
Virgin Islands    
VirginiaYes Currently only ages 14 and 15 for personal watercraft. Beginning July 1, 2009 compliance with boating safety education will be phased in according to age category. Yes  
WashingtonYes Operators of motorboats with 15 horsepower or greater, must be 12 years of age or older. Is being phased in beginning January 2008 starting with 12 to 20 year olds and increasing age each year until fully implemented in 2014. Other, please specify non residents may operate for 60 days 
West VirginiaYes Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986 Other, please specify Out of state boater are exempt for 30 days. 
WisconsinYes Anyone born on or after 1-1-89 and who is at least 16 years No  
WyomingNo  No  




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