Skip to main content

Course Outline

Nevada law requires the following with respect to life jackets and PFDs.

  • All vessels, except sailboards, must have at least one USCG–approved life jacket for each person on board or being towed. This includes paddleboards.
  • In addition to the above requirement, a vessel 16 feet up to 40 feet long must have on board one USCG–approved throwable PFD. A vessel 40 feet or longer must carry two throwable PFDs, with one PFD stored in the front and another PFD stored in the rear of the vessel.
  • Children under 13 years old must wear a USCG–approved life jacket whenever underway in a vessel unless they are in a fully enclosed area.
  • If a person chooses to wear a life jacket that is not USCG approved (when not specifically required), a properly fitting USCG–approved life jacket must be carried on board the vessel to meet the state and federal carriage requirements.
  • Stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) are considered vessels by the state of Nevada. Persons on board an SUP must carry a life jacket that fits, and children under 13 years old must wear a life jacket at all times.
  • Each person on board a PWC or anyone being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG–approved life jacket. Inflatable life jackets are not approved for these activities.
  • Some life jackets are intended for specific activities. One of these life jackets may be substituted for another life jacket if specifically approved by the USCG for the activity at hand. Hybrid life jackets (inflatables) must be worn while underway, except when the wearer is in an enclosed space.
  • Inflatable life jackets are not approved for use by persons under 16 years of age.
  • All life jackets must be in good condition, be legibly marked with the USCG approval number, and be readily accessible. A life jacket is considered readily accessible if:
    • It is being worn or…
    • It is stowed where it is quickly reachable and is ready to wear, out of its original packaging, and not under lock and key.
  • Wearable life jackets must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing is based on body weight and chest size.
Person fitting a PFD on a child
  • Unit 4 of 6
  • Topic 6 of 19
  • Page 2 of 8