Do You Need a License to Drive a Jet Ski?


Some states require jet ski owners to get a jet ski license to ride their machines. Note some, not all! A jet ski license may mean taking a safety course and licensing exam. If your state doesn’t require a jet ski license, you could still benefit from taking a jet ski safety course to avoid potential accidents and injuries and get a license.

Safety is a necessity when you’re out on the water. An exam will help you realize what you know and what you need to know more of. This will keep you and other people safe and save you money on costly hospital visits and vehicle repairs.

Do You Need a Boating License to Drive a Jet Ski?

If you own and drive a jet ski, U.S. law states that you must get a boat license. At this time, there is no jet ski law. The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) requires jet ski owners to also take a boating safety course.  Every state sets its requirements for who must have a boating license, with age being the number one determinant.

Can You Get a Jet Ski License

It is possible to receive your jet ski license through the Internet. You just need to go to the course’s website, choose your state, take the online course and attain your boating license.

Does Florida require a jet ski license?

Florida residents must obtain a jet ski license but is only available to people born after Jan. 1, 1988. They must also take a boater safety course if they plan on driving a 10hp or higher motorized boat.

Does California require a jet ski license?

The state passed a law on Jan. 1, 2018, requiring people to carry their California Boater card, with an eight-year phase-in plan.

Does New York require a jet ski license?

According to New York law, anybody 14 or older must take and pass a boating safety course before they can drive a jet ski or other motorized water vehicle. Children 10 years old, born on or after May 1, 1996, and plan to drive another kind of water vehicle without an adult, will also need to take a boating safety course and pass it.

Do you need a license to drive a jet ski in Georgia?

Anybody born Jan. 1, 1998 or later must have a jet ski license to operate the vehicle. This license is given upon successful completion of an online boating safety course. Anyone of any age can take the license and doesn’t have to be a resident of the state.

Do you need a license to drive a jet ski in North Carolina?

If you want to operate a jet ski, New Jersey law states people take a boater education course and get a non-tidal boat license.

Do you need a license to drive a jet ski in North Carolina?

The state requires anyone born Jan. 1, 1998 or later to take and pass an approved boating safety course to attain the required jet ski license. There are no age or residency requirements.

Do you need a license to drive a jet ski in Texas?

Anybody born Sept. 1, 1993 or later is required to have a jet ski license in the state of Texas but must take and pass a boating safety course first. The minimum age to get a jet ski license is 13 and non-residents can get a Texas jet ski license.

For other states’ requirements on jet ski licensing, check out the Boat-Ed.com website.

5 Frequently Asked Questions Jet Ski Owners Have About Boating Licenses

Do you need a license to rent a jet ski?

It does not matter if you own or rent a jet ski; you must have a license to operate the vehicle. Rental shops often require a license to be produced before they rent out their inventory, even if the state itself doesn’t demand one. Still, some rental services will provide a temporary certificate that allows you to legally rent and use the jet skis.

How much is a jet ski license?

The cost is dependent on the state and provider but usually runs around $30 to $40. The fees can be paid online. 

Is it possible to operate a jet ski without a license?

Some states do not require its citizens and/or visitors to have a jet ski license to drive one. However, even if your state does not require it, it is in your best interest to take a boating safety course to ensure safe operation.

Is a license necessary to own a jet ski?

There is no requirement to have a license if you own a jet ski. The laws are similar to a vehicle license and owning cars. However, if you want to drive your jet ski, be sure to review your state’s laws to see if you need a license to do so. You may also have a hard time getting insurance if you don’t have a license.

Do you need a boating license to drive a jet ski?

Most states do require a boating license to operate a jet ski. If a jet ski license is needed, you may be required to take a boating safety course. Be aware that every state law varies, so make sure you learn yours to ensure your legality.

Conclusion

Safety is critical to enjoying a good time on the water. Therefore, if you want to buy a jet ski, it’s important to take a boating safety course and get a license. The license is proof that you took the course.

If you are a novice jet ski rider, it may be a good idea to rent a jet ski for a couple of hours. Learn as much as you can from the staff and take a course before renting a jet ski. Some rental shops have set up a separate riding area for newbie riders, who learn with a supervisor’s help. You can also take advantage of a guided jet ski tour.

Riding a jet ski is a thrilling experience, but you want to ensure safety for yourself and others around you. This is only possible by taking and passing a boating safety course and getting a state-required license (where necessary).

References

https://www.boat-ed.com/boating_license

https://www.nasbla.org/

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