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Course Outline

The following are the requirements for PWC operators on North Carolina waters.

  • A person younger than 14 years old may not operate a PWC legally.
  • A person 14 or 15 years old may operate a PWC only if:
    • He or she is accompanied on board the PWC by a person who is at least 18 years old and who is in compliance with the requirements for operating a vessel (see “Operator Age and Education Requirements for a Vessel”) or…
    • He or she has on his or her person identification showing proof of age and a boater education certification card showing proof of passing a boating safety course approved by NASBLA and accepted by the Wildlife Resources Commission or…
    • He or she has on his or her person identification showing proof of age and proof of other boating safety education in compliance with state laws (G.S. 75A-16.2).
  • Anyone 16 years old or older and born on or after January 1, 1988, may operate a PWC with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater only if he or she is in compliance with the requirements for operating a vessel (see “Operator Age and Education Requirements for a Vessel”).
  • It is unlawful for the owner of a PWC to knowingly allow a person under the age of 16 to operate a PWC unless he or she meets the above requirements.
  • It is unlawful for a person who has temporary or permanent responsibility for a person under the age of 16 to knowingly allow that person to operate a PWC unless he or she meet the above requirements.
  • A PWC livery (rental agency) must give instructions on safe PWC operation before allowing anyone to operate a leased PWC.
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