Table of Contents

Download the PDF Version

It's the Law


PWC operators must obey laws that apply to other vessels as well as obey additional requirements that apply specifically to the operation of personal watercraft.

Requirements Specific to PWCs


Everyone on board a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved wearable life jacket (PFD) at all times.

PWCs may not be operated between sunset and sunrise.

There are age restrictions on operators of personal watercraft.

If a person under 18 years of age is operating a PWC, the parent or guardian of the operator is responsible for the operator's actions.

PWC operator and passenger wearing life jackets
Every person on board a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jacket (PFD).