Boating Laws and Regulations

Texas Boating Safety Education Requirements

All boaters who were born after September 1st, 1993 are required to carry the Texas boater education certificate when operating the following vessels on state waters:

  • Any motorized vessel over 15 hp;
  • Any wind-blown vessel over 14 feet in length; OR
  • Any personal watercraft (PWC)

Age Restrictions

  • Operators under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old, onboard the vessel.
  • Youth under the age of 13 are NOT permitted to operate a PWC.
  • Children under the age of 13 must wear a properly fitted Personal Flotation Device (life jacket) when onboard any powered vessel under 26 feet in length while underway.

For a complete list of all Texas boating regulations please visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/boat/laws/.

Texas Boating License or Boating Safety Certificate...is there a difference?

The boater education card is proof that you have successfully completed a boating safety course. The boater education card does not expire and does not need to be renewed. Therefore, it is NOT a Texas Boating License!