Table of Contents

Download the PDF Version

It's the Law

Who May Operate a Personal Watercraft (PWC)


Those less than 14 years of age may not legally operate a PWC.

Those 14 and 15 years of age may operate a PWC legally only if they have obtained a boating safety certificate and …

  • He or she is accompanied on board by his or her parent or legal guardian or by a person at least 21 years of age who has been designated by the parent or legal guardian or …
  • He or she is operating or riding the PWC at a distance of not more than 100 feet from his or her parent or legal guardian or from a person at least 21 years of age who has been designated by the parent or legal guardian.

Those at least 16 years of age and born after December 31, 1978, may operate a PWC legally only if they have obtained a boating safety certificate.

Those born on or before December 31, 1978, may operate a PWC legally without restrictions.