Michigan Boating License

Michigan Boater Safety Course

In Michigan, anyone born on or after July 1, 1996, must successfully complete a boater safety course approved by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in order to operate a motorized vessel. Anyone born after December 31, 1978, require boater education in order to operate a personal watercraft (PWC). Boaters are required to carry their boater education certificate as proof of boater education.




Boating Age Requirements

In Michigan, no one may operate a motor-powered vessel over 6 hp if they are under the age of 12 years, except under the following condition:

  • The motor-powered vessel is greater than 6 hp but no more than 35 hp and they are under the direct supervision of a responsible individual who is at least 16 years of age

Note: In the state of Michigan, under no circumstance may anyone under the age of 12 operate any vessel with a motor greater than 35 hp.


No one may operate a motor-powered vessel over 6 hp if they are between the ages of 12 and 15, except under the following conditions:

  • If they have successfully completed a state approved Boating Safety Course and have their Boating Safety Certificate onboard with them, or…
  • If they are under the direct supervision of a responsible individual who is at least 16 years of age

Personal Watercraft (PWC) Age Requirements

In Michigan, no one may operate a personal watercraft (PWC) if they are under the age of 12 years, under any circumstance.

All persons who are 12 and 13 years of age may only operate a personal watercraft, under the following conditions:

  • They had successfully completed a state approved Boating Safety Course and were issued a Boating Safety Certificate before January 1, 1999, or…
  • They are accompanied onboard the personal watercraft by their parent or legal guardian and both themselves and their parent or guardian have obtained their Boating Safety Certificate. Additionally, the PWC must be rated for at least two people and must be fitted with a safety lanyard which is attached to the parent or guardian (either to their clothing or their person).

Persons born prior to December 31, 1978, are not subject to any restrictions when operating a personal watercraft.

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BOATERexam.com® is trusted by agencies across the United States to deliver the best of quality in boating safety education. Our courses consistently receive the highest level of approval from agencies and from boaters.

This official Michigan boating safety course is approved by the State of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources.



Michigan Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 30031
Lansing, Michigan 48909
www.michigan.gov/dnr/




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