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Ohio Boating Laws and Regulations

Age and Operator Restrictions

Children under the age of 12 may not operate a PWC (e.g., Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, etc.), under any circumstances.

Children ages 12 to 15 may operate if they have an education certificate and there is an adult (18 or older) on board with them.

Young adults age 16 and older may operate if they have an education certificate.


Ohio law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and pleasant. Cooperate with them by following the laws and guidelines.

Carry the Card: Vessel operators who are required to have a Boater Education Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer.

Penalty: Not carrying your Boater Education Card when one is required can result in a fine.


For visiting boaters, all states, territories, and provinces will recognize boating education cards that meet NASBLA requirements and Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Cards that meet Transport Canada’s requirements. (This is known as “reciprocity.”)

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Take this Ohio–approved online boating course to complete your boaters safety education. is a delegated provider for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft.

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