Delaware Boating Laws and Regulations

Age and Operator Restrictions

  • Those 14 and 15 years of age who hold a boating safety certification card may operate a PWC only if under the direct onboard supervision of his or her parent or legal guardian.
  • Those 16 years of age and older who hold a boating safety certification card may operate a PWC without any restrictions.

Exemptions

The certification is not required for operators who have:

  • A valid U.S. Coast Guard license or…
  • A valid Delaware River Captain and Bay Pilot’s license or equivalent.

Enforcement

Delaware law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and pleasant. Cooperate with them by following the laws and guidelines.

Carry the Card: Vessel operators who are required to have a Boater Education Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer.

Penalty: Not carrying your Boater Education Card when one is required can result in a fine.

Reciprocity

For visiting boaters, all states, territories, and provinces will recognize boating education cards that meet NASBLA requirements and Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Cards that meet Transport Canada’s requirements. (This is known as “reciprocity.”)

Need help? Here are the answers to the questions Delaware Boating students most frequently ask.

Frequently Asked Questions