Skip to main content

Maine Boating Laws and Regulations

Age and Operator Restrictions

Anyone under the age of 12 years may not operate a motorboat propelled by machinery of more than 10 horsepower unless under the immediate supervision of a person in the motorboat who is at least 16 years of age.

No one under 16 years of age may operate a PWC.

Anyone between the ages of 16 and 17 years may operate a PWC if they are accompanied on board by a person 18 years of age or have successfully completed an approved safety education course and carry on board proof of age and course completion.


Maine 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.”)

Get Certified Online!

Take this Maine–approved course to complete your online boating safety education.

Maine Boating safety education card Lifetime Card

unlimited exam attempts