Operator Age and Education Requirements
The course completion card (or temporary boater education certificate) must be carried on board.
The following are requirements for vessel operators on New Mexico waters.
- All persons born on or after January 1, 1989, must pass an approved boater education course or a proctored examination before they may operate a motorboat legally.
- Operators are exempt if they:
- Possess a valid license issued by the USCG or…
- Are renting the motorboat for 30 days or fewer and have received instructions on safe boat operation and a summary of boating law from the rental company.
- All persons must be at least 13 years of age to operate a sailboat, motorboat, or PWC unless they are under the direct, on board supervision of an adult. Those under 13 years of age must have their Boater Education Card on board even when operating under direct supervision.
- The Boater Education Card must be carried on board the vessel whenever it is operated by someone required to have a card. For renters, the instructions on safe boat operation provided by the rental company serve as a temporary certificate/card for 30 days.
- No person, including a parent or the owner of a vessel, may authorize or knowingly permit a child under the age of 13 to operate a motorboat without direct, on board supervision of an adult.