Laws & Regulations

Who needs to take the Hawaii boaters safety course?

As of November 10th, 2014, anyone who wishes to operate a motorized boat over 10 horsepower or a PWC is required to obtain a Boater Education Card.® is a delegated provider for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

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Hawaii Boater Education Card
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

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Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

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Hawaii Boating License

Hawaii boating safety
Education Requirements

In Hawaii all operators of personal watercraft (PWC), also known as 'thrill craft', are required to have proof of successful completion of a state-approved boating safety course. The® online boating safety course meets this requirement.


The State of Hawaii honours a reciprocity agreement with other States. A person who is certified to operate a PWC in another state may legally operate a PWC in Hawaii. However, the certification must have been issued through a National Association of Boating Law Administrators approved course and the operator must complete the portions of a certificate course for Hawaii that includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Local ocean safety principles and practices;
  2. The historical, cultural, and customary practices of Hawaii's ocean users; and
  3. Any rules or laws pertaining to protected species and thrill craft operation in the State.

Age Restrictions

  • No person under the age of 15 is permitted to operate any PWC (thrill craft) on the waters of Hawaii.
  • All children under the age of 13 are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard Approved PFD at all times while the vessel is underway unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin of a boat that is at least 19 feet in length

Important Note

The online boating safety course covers a wide range of operating laws in Hawaii. For a complete listing of Hawaii’s boat operating rules and regulations, please consult the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources website at