Operator Age and Education Requirements
The following are requirements for vessel operators on Florida waters.
- To operate a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or greater (including a personal watercraft, or PWC), a person born on or after January 1, 1988, must have:
- Completed a boater education course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) or...
- Passed an approved equivalency exam or...
- Passed an approved temporary certificate examination.
- No one under 14 years of age may operate any PWC on Florida waters at any time, even if such person possesses a Florida Boating Safety Education ID Card.
- No one under the age of 18 years may rent/lease a PWC. A person must be at least 18 years of age to sign the rental agreement.
- It is also illegal for the owner of a PWC to knowingly allow a person under 14 years of age to operate a PWC.