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Kansas Boating Laws and Regulations

Age and Operator Restrictions

The minimum age for operating a vessel in Kansas is 12. No one under the age of 12 may operate a motorboat or PWC on Kansas public waters unless accompanied by and under the direct supervision of a parent or person at least 18 years of age.

Any person between the ages of 12 and 20 who wishes to operate a vessel (PWC, powerboat, sailboat) without direct supervision must complete an approved boater education course. Direct supervision means being able to take over in case of an emergency.

For a PWC, this means on the same vessel not riding next to it. The supervising adult must be at least 18 years of age and either:

  • Have completed a boater education course or...
  • Be 21 years of age or older.


Kansas 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.


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.”)

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