Operator Age and Education Requirements
The following are requirements for vessel operators on Maryland waters.
- All persons born on or after July 1, 1972, must have in their possession a Certificate of Boating Safety Education to operate a numbered or documented vessel, including personal watercraft (PWC), legally on Maryland's public waters.
- The Certificate of Boating Safety Education is obtained by successfully completing a NASBLA–approved boating safety education course or passing an equivalency examination approved by the MDNR. The certificate is valid for the lifetime of the person to whom it is issued.
- Persons required to have a Certificate of Boating Safety Education must have the certificate on board and available for inspection by an enforcement officer whenever operating a vessel on Maryland waters.
- No one under 16 years of age may legally operate a PWC or jetpack vessel, even if the person possesses a Certificate of Boating Safety Education.
- No one under 12 years of age may legally operate a vessel towing a person(s) on water skis, an aquaplane, a parasail, or a similar device.