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Course Outline

The following are the requirements for vessel operators on Texas waters.

  • Operators must meet the age and boater education requirements listed below in order to operate any of the following vessels legally in Texas:
    • A powerboat powered by a motor of more than 15 horsepower or…
    • A personal watercraft (PWC) or…
    • A windblown vessel over 14 feet in length.
  • A person less than 13 years of age may operate only if he or she is supervised by a person who:
    • Is 18 years of age or older and…
    • Can lawfully operate the watercraft and…
    • Is on board when the vessel is underway.
  • A person at least 13 years of age and born on or after September 1, 1993, may operate without supervision only if he or she has passed a boater education course that is accepted by TPWD.
  • All persons required to have passed a state-approved boater education course must carry with them on the vessel:
    • Photographic identification such as driver’s license or student I.D. and…
    • A boater education certification card issued by TPWD upon successful completion of a boater education course or proof of completion of the requirements to obtain a vessel operator's license issued by the USCG.
  • Non-residents may fulfill the Texas boater education requirement by supplying proof that they have passed another state’s boater education course that is accepted by TPWD and is NASBLA–approved.
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  • Topic 2 of 19
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