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Boating Laws & License Requirements by State

Passing a boating safety course will give you a discount on boat insurance and will increase your water safety skills. Boat safety courses are an excellent investment of time and money, regardless of your state's boating law. Each state has unique boating education requirements, and the boating rules, laws and regulations vary from state to state for obtaining a boat license or safety certification. Be sure to review the full legal requirements for your particular state.

Laws By State Alaska Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Rhode Island Pennsylvania
bullet Hawaii
  Hawaiian Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation

Beginning 11/10/2014, all individuals who operate a motorized vessel, greater than 10 horsepower,  in Hawaii’s State waters must have taken a boating safety course and show proof of certification.

Operators under 16 years of age (in addition to having the required certificate of completion) must be directly supervised by an adult 21 years of age or older who also holds the required certificate of completion.
  View the official Hawaii state web site here.

States with mandatory boating law require safety certification for some or all boaters. Only one state (Alabama) requires an actual boat license. However, many prospective students are not aware of state legal terminology, and search for information about a boat license or licence, or a captain or captains license. This page is an excellent resource for boating law for all fifty states.