Operator Age Requirements
It is illegal for the owner of a personal watercraft (PWC) or a motorboat to allow their vessel to be operated by an underage person in violation of the following laws.
- No person under 12 years of age may operate a motorboat propelled by a motor of more than 6 horsepower unless there is a person 18 years of age or older on board the motorboat.
- No person under the age of 14 may operate a PWC, regardless of horsepower, unless there is a person 18 years of age or older on board the PWC. An exception to this law may be made in the case of an emergency.
- Although not required, every boater should complete a boating safety education course. Persons completing an approved course will be issued a certificate by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks (SDGFP).