Boating Laws and Regulations

Virginia Boating Safety Education Requirements

Virginia Boating Card

As of July 1, 2015, all PWC operators age 14 and older and motorboat operators 50 and younger must complete a boating safety course. Beginning July 1, 2016, all PWC operators age 14 and older and all motorboat operators regardless of age need to take a boating safety course.

Virginia Infographic
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Age Restrictions

  • No one under the age of 14 may operate any personal watercraft (PWC) on Virginia State Waters.
  • Children under the age of 13 must wear a properly fitted Personal Flotation Device (life jacket) when onboard any vessel that is underway unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin.

Important Note

The online boating safety course covers a wide range of operating laws in Virginia. For a complete listing of Virginia's boat operating rules and regulations, please consult the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website at