Requirements Specific to Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
In addition to adhering to all boating laws, personal watercraft (PWC) operators have requirements specific to their vessel.
- Everyone on board a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved personal flotation device (life jacket). Inflatable PFDs and most Type II life jackets are not recommended for persons riding on PWCs. Impact-rated PFDs offer more protection.
- An operator of a PWC equipped with a lanyard-type engine cut-off switch must attach the lanyard to his or her person, clothing, or PFD. It is unlawful to remove or disable an engine cut-off switch that was installed by the PWC manufacturer.
- PWCs may be operated during the hours between sunrise and sunset only.
- You must be at least 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft legally.
- It is illegal to lease, hire, or rent a personal watercraft to anyone under 16 years of age.