Florida Specific: Age Restrictions for Boats and PWC (Personal Water Craft)

Age Restrictions for Boating in Florida

Motorboat Operation:

  • Individuals born on or after January 1988 can operate a motorboat with 10 or more horsepower unsupervised if they have completed an approved boater safety course, possess a Florida Boating Safety ID card, and carry photo ID.
  • Those born after January 1, 1988, without the required certification, can operate such boats only under the supervision of someone at least 18 years old with the Boating Safety Education Identification card and responsible for the vessel’s operation.

Personal Watercraft Operation:

  • To operate a personal watercraft in Florida, you must be at least 14 years old.
  • Allowing someone under 14 to operate a personal watercraft is a second-degree misdemeanor.
  • Renting a personal watercraft requires a minimum age of 18.
  • Anyone involved in water skiing, aquaplaning, or riding on or being towed behind a personal watercraft must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket (Type I, II, III, or V). Inflatable personal flotation devices are not allowed for these activities.



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