North Carolina Boating Education Law


For more information on the boating laws in the state of North Carolina visit:

Mandatory Education and Age Requirements:

Education Requirements
    After May 1, 2010, every person under the age of 26 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating any vessel propelled by a motor of 10 HP or greater in the state of North Carolina.

    North Carolina has the following restrictions for the operators of personal watercraft:
  • No person under 14 years of age may operate a PWC.
  • A person at least 14 years of age but younger than 16 years of age may operate a PWC in public waters if:
          • they are accompanied by a person at least 18 years of age who is in compliance with the state's boating education requirements; or
          • the person possesses ID with proof of age and boating safety certification or card indicating the satisfactory completion of a NASBLA boating safety education course.
  • A person 16 years of age or older must comply with the mandatory boater education requirements for all vessels of 10 HP or greater before operating a PWC.
  • The owner of a PWC must not knowingly allow a child under the age of 16 operate their craft except as provided above.
  • Those who possess a U.S. Coast Guard operator's license, temporary operator's certificate, renter's or lease agreement, or are a resident of another state or country operating on the waters of North Carolina for less than 90 days are exempt from the education requirement if under the age of 26.
  • Those over the age of 26 are not required to posses a boating safety certificate while operating on the waters of North Carolina.

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 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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