Pennsylvania Boating Laws and Regulations

Age and Operator Restrictions

Children 11 years old or younger are not legally allowed to operate a PWC or motorboat with greater than 25 hp under any conditions.

Exemptions

Residents of other states who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1982, and operate on Pennsylvania waters for 60 days or less are exempt if they hold a boating safety certificate issued by their home state.

Enforcement

Pennsylvania 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.

Reciprocity

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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Frequently Asked Questions