PERSONAL WATERCRAFT STATE REGULATIONS
PERSONAL WATERCRAFT REGULATIONS
- Each person operating, riding on, or being towed behind a personal watercraft must wear an approved non-inflatable wearable personal flotation device (PFD). Inflatable PFDs are prohibited for personal watercraft use.
- The operator of a personal watercraft must attach the engine cutoff switch lanyard (if equipped by the manufacturer) to his/her person, clothing or PFD.
- Personal watercraft may not be operated from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, even if navigation lights are used. Remember, both federal and state law requires the use of navigation lights from sunset to sunrise.
- Maneuvering a personal watercraft by weaving through congested vessel traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably close or when visibility around the vessel is obstructed, or swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision is classified as reckless operation of a vessel (a first-degree misdemeanor).
- A person must be at least 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft in Florida.
- A person must be at least 18 years of age to rent a personal watercraft in Florida.
- It is unlawful for a person to knowingly allow a person under 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft (a second-degree misdemeanor).
- Anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 is required to either have successfully completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating education course or have passed a course equivalency or temporary certificate examination and have in their possession a boating education ID card and a photo identification card before operating a vessel with a motor of 10 HP or more in Florida. Identification cards for persons completing the course or the equivalency exam are good for a lifetime. Temporary Certificate exams are made available to the public through contractors. The temporary certificate is valid for 12 months from the issue date.