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A man giving PWC instruction to a young girl

Persons less than 12 years of age may not legally operate a PWC.

Persons 12 to 15 years of age may legally operate a PWC only if they:

  • Have passed a boating education course approved by the DNR or…
  • Are accompanied by a competent adult.

Persons 16 years of age or older may operate a PWC on the waters of Georgia if he or she has proper identification on board.

Any person born after January 1, 1998, and operating a PWC on Georgia waters must meet:

Video: Georgia Education and Age Requirements

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Video Transcript

What kind of requirements are there to drive a boat as far as age and courses?

Ranger First Class Jessica Spencer

All right. If you’re under the age of 12, you may not legally operate any boat that’s 16 feet in length or greater. If you’re between the ages of 12 and 15, you can operate a boat that’s less than 16 feet in length as long as you’re accompanied by a competent adult or you’ve passed a boating safety course, and this includes PWCs.


What are some of the other rules here?

Ranger Spencer

If you were born after January 1, 1998, you have to have a boater education course regardless of your age or what boat you’re driving. You have to have it.


And once you hit 16, you’re good to go.

Ranger Spencer

Once you hit 16, as long as you have your ID, you’re good to go. You can operate any boat.


OK. That makes a lot of sense. So—all right. So you come down, there’s a whole bunch of people on the docks—

Ranger Spencer

If I come up, you know, it’s a bunch of jet skis, I would say, if you’re under the age of 12, you can’t operate a PWC at all. Not at all. If you’re over the age of 12, you have to have a boater education card or be accompanied by a competent adult. Which means, a competent adult is anyone that’s over 18 that’s not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”