California Boating Education Law

 

For more information on the boating laws in the state of California visit: www.dbw.ca.gov

Mandatory Education and Age Requirements:

Education Requirements

    Although California has no mandatory education requirements, the Department of Boating and Waterways recommends taking a boating safety class offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power Squadrons or American Red Cross. The Department of Boating and Waterways also offers a home study guide, called "California Boating" that can be ordered at www.dbw.ca.gov. Additionally, internet courses, such as the BoatU.S. Online Boating Safety Course, are a good way to learn how to make boating safe and enjoyable for everyone.

    Persons convicted of on water moving violations must take a court ordered boating safety class!

    Any person convicted of a moving violation in the Harbors and Navigation Code, the Federal Rules of the Road and regulations adopted by the Department of Boating and Waterways while operating a vessel shall be ordered by the court to complete and pass an approved boating safety class within 7 months from the time of conviction.

    Age & Horsepower Restrictions

    A person under the age of 16 may not operate a motorboat of more than 15 horsepower unless the boat is a sailboat and does not exceed 30 feet in length - OR - the boat is a dinghy used between a moored boat and shore or between 2 moored boats. The law does allow persons aged 12-15 to operate motorboats of more than 15 horsepower or sailboats over 30 feet if supervised by a person on board who is at least 18 years of age.

    A person under that age of 16 may not operate a personal watercraft (PWC) of more than 15 horsepower unless they are between the ages of 12-15 and are supervised by a person on board who is at least 18 years of age. Any person, who allows an unsupervised person under the age of 16 to operate, is guilty of an infraction.

We provide this information as a service and strive to keep this website up to date. Please let us know of any inconsistencies by bringing them to our attention at once at onlinecourse@boatus.com. Resources for these pages include state statutes, state web pages and state approved boating guides. BoatU.S. is not responsible for any misinterpretation of the law or any change in the law that is not adequately reflected in these pages. Damages as a result of failing to abide by stated law shall not be the responsibility of BoatU.S., BoatU.S. Foundation or its employees.

 

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