Boating Safety Course

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Boating education safety requirements Idaho

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The state of Idaho does not require boater education. However it is highly recommended.

Become a safe boater

The purpose of boating safety course is to develop knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to become safe, responsible boaters.

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FAQ - Boating in Idaho

Who is required to take the boating safety course in Idaho?

The state of Idaho does not require boater education. However it is highly recommended.

What are the age restrictions regarding boating safety in Idaho?

There is no state law that requires boat operators to be of a minimum age or requires boat operators to take a safety class or proficiency exam.  However, some counties have enacted local ordinances that require operators to be a certain age to operate power boats.

Here is a brief run down of county-specific ordinances involving age. (Keep in mind that there could be other county ordinances that are stricter than state law.) Make sure you check with your local marine deputies before heading out!

Adams County

  • Children under the age of ten cannot operate a motor driven watercraft except when they are under direct adult supervision; Anyone under the age of 14 cannot operate or allow to be operated without adult supervision if the vessel is powered by a motor rated higher than 15 horsepower.

Benewah County

  • Children between the ages of 10-14 cannot operate a motorboat with a motor rating of 15 horsepower or higher unless they are under direct supervision of an adult operator; Children under the age of 10 may not operate any motorboat except under the direct supervision of an adult.

Bonner County

  • Children under the age of 10 cannot operate a motor-driven watercraft (including Personal Watercraft) unless under direct adult supervision; Children between the ages of 10-14 cannot operate a motorboat with a motor rating higher than 10 horsepower.

Kootenai County

  • Adult supervision is required when an operator of a boat or other vessel is between the ages of 10-14, unless the motor is 15 horsepower or less.

Do I need to register my boat in Idaho?

All motorized vessels used principally in the waters of Idaho, must be registered with the Idaho Department of Parks and Rec.

The following are the only exceptions:

Manually powered vessel like canoes, kayaks, sailboards, rafts & float tubes without motors.

Vessels having valid registration in another state and not remaining in Idaho waters for more than 60 consecutive days.

Vessels documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Is my boating license good in other States?

Every U.S. state that demands a boating license will accept Boating Education Licenses from other states that conform to NASBLA requirements as well.

You should follow your safety course in the State where you are resident.

Are there other boating restrictions in Idaho?

In Idaho, No-Wake Speed is no greater than 5 miles per hour!

It is illegal to operate your vessel at greater than no-wake speed (5 miles per hour) while within 100 feet of a dock, swimmer or other person in the water, except when safely pulling a skier off of a dock or returning a skier to the vicinity of a dock. Effort must be made by the ski boat operator to minimize the time spent at speeds greater than 5 miles per hour when within the 100 foot zone.

Boat speed limits are regulated by law for certain areas and conditions. When no speed limit is posted, operate your boat so that it will not endanger others. Always keep a proper lookout and never load a boat with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying capacity.

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