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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 Missouri
  Missouri State Highway Patrol -Water Patrol Division
  Yes, state has mandatory boater education law that applies to some operators of boats and/or personal watercraft.

All persons must be at least 14 years of age to operate a motorboat or PWC legally unless under the direct, on-board supervision of a parent, guardian, or other person 16 years of age or older.

All persons born after January 1, 1984, who operate any vessel on the lakes of the State of Missouri must have on board:

  • A boating safety identification card issued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) and a photo I.D. or…

  • A Missouri drivers license, or a non-drivers license with a boating safety endorsement.
  • The boating safety card is obtained by successfully completing a boating safety course approved by the MSHP.

      View the official Missouri state boating 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.