Whether you’re planning a family beach vacation or renting a boat to explore your home waters, you need to find out about the boat rental act or applicable laws. You should know that the answer to the question “Do you need a license to rent a boat?” will be different for each state so be sure to check this out as you plan your adventures on the water.
You can first learn the difference between a boating license and boating registration, then use these resources to learn about state boat rental laws.
- Take a federally accredited boat safety course with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary to learn about boat rental law and receive hands-on training to help you know how to operate a boat.
- The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) has an online reference guide that lists the boating laws for each state in the United States. You can also use this guide to review state laws on specific topics, such as: B. for the operation of watercraft or requirements for life jackets.
- Check with your state fish and wildlife agency. The requirements for operating a motorboat, sailboat, or watercraft (PWC) on the waters in the state’s jurisdiction vary depending on which state you are in. If you are buying a new or used boat instead of renting one, register your boat.
- Note that in addition to state laws, there are also state requirements for recreational boating. The U.S. Coast Guard outlines federal requirements.
Back to the question in which states do you need a boating license? In other words, do some states require a license to rent a boat? Yes, most states require a boat safety and training certificate, which can also be called a boating license. In many cases, a boating license course can be taken online – but don’t forget that hands-on training and experience on the water are also important!