Specific PFD Requirements
Idaho law requires the following with respect to personal flotation devices (life jackets).
- All recreational vessels must have at least one Type I, II, or III personal flotation device (life jacket) that is U.S. Coast Guard–approved and of the proper size for each person on board or being towed. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
- In addition to the requirements for life jackets, vessels 16 feet in length or longer (except canoes and kayaks of any length) must have one U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type IV PFD on board and readily accessible.
- Children 14 years of age or younger, on board vessels 19 feet or less, must wear an approved life jacket when the vessel is underway.
- Seaplanes, sailboards, and certain racing vessels are exempt from the above PFD requirements. Fly-fishing float tubes do not require PFDs on lakes with less than 200 surface acres. Fly-fishing pontoons do require PFDs on all Idaho waters.
- Each person riding on a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, or III personal flotation device.
- Each person being towed behind a vessel must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved personal flotation device.
- All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition, the correct size for the intended wearer, readily accessible, and labeled “U.S. Coast Guard-approved.”