Operator Age and Education Requirements
The following are the requirements for vessel operators on South Carolina waters.
- Persons 16 years of age or older may operate any boat or personal watercraft (PWC) without restrictions.
- Persons younger than 16 years of age may operate:
- A boat or PWC powered by less than 15 horsepower without restrictions.
- A boat or PWC powered by 15 horsepower or more only if:
- They are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or...
- They have passed a boating safety course approved by the SCDNR.
- It is unlawful for a person to cause or allow a child over whom they have permanent or temporary responsibility to operate a boat or PWC illegally.