Boating Laws and boating license requirements by state
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Boating Laws & License Requirements by State


Passing a boating safety course will give you a discount on boat insurance and will increase your water safety skills. Boat safety courses are an excellent investment of time and money, regardless of your state's boating law. Each state has unique boating education requirements, and the boating rules, laws and regulations vary from state to state for obtaining a boat license or safety certification. Be sure to review the full legal requirements for your particular state.


Laws By State Alaska Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Rhode Island Pennsylvania
bullet Virginia
  Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
 

Yes, state has mandatory boater education law that applies to some operators of boats and/or personal watercraft.

As of July 1, 2015, all PWC operators age 14 and older and motorboat operators 50 and younger must complete a boating safety course. Beginning July 1, 2016, all PWC operators age 14 and older and all motorboat operators regardless of age need to take a boating safety course.

PWC Age Restriction: No person under the age of 14 may operate a PWC. Those operators 14 and 15 MUST show proof of completing an approved and accepted boating safety course either in a classroom or online. The challenge exam or other provisions of the Education Compliance Requirement do not meet the requirements of the age restriction law.
  

See the state's website for specific safe boating course requirements.

  View the official Virginia boating web site here.

States with mandatory boating law require safety certification for some or all boaters. Only one state (Alabama) requires an actual boat license. However, many prospective students are not aware of state legal terminology, and search for information about a boat license or licence, or a captain or captains license. This page is an excellent resource for boating law for all fifty states.