Boating Safety Course

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Boating license requirements in Louisiana

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All operators born after January 1, 1984 must successfully complete a NASBLA approved boater education course in order to legally operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower or personal watercraft on Louisiana waters.

Louisiana boating laws & regulations

Louisiana PFD requirements:

Louisiana law requires that all children age 16 and younger wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, or III PFD while underway on a vessel less than 26 feet long.

The PFD must be fastened and properly sized for the child. Inflatables are not allowed for children age 16 and under.

If you’re riding on a personal watercraft, you must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD.

Individuals engaged in watersports, including but not limited to waterskiing, being towed on a tube, wakeboarding, wake surfing, etc., must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD. An inflatable PFD is not permitted.

BUI regulations in Louisiana:

You may not operate any motorboat or vessel or manipulate any waterski, surfboard, or similar device while intoxicated or under the influence of any narcotic drug, barbiturate, or marijuana. It is also illegal for a person who owns or is in charge of any watercraft to authorize or knowingly permit anyone who is intoxicated or under the influence of any narcotic drug, barbiturate, or marijuana to operate that watercraft.

Boat operators who are driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 and higher face the same penalties as someone operating a vehicle on the highway while intoxicated. Penalties include suspension or revocation of boating privileges and driver's license. A designated sober operator is required for both the roadway and waterway.

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FAQ - Boating in Louisiana

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

All boaters born after January 1, 1984 must complete a boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat with a 10 horsepower (HP) or greater engine.

Who is exempt from the Louisiana boating license ?

All operators born before January 1, 1984 as well as non-residents who have successfully completed a NASBLA approved boater education course from their state are exempt from the requirement.

A person may operate a motorboat if accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older that has completed the course.

U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains are also exempt.

What are the age restrictions regarding boating safety in Louisiana?

The minimum age requirement for the online course is 10 years old

Do I need to register my boat in Louisiana?


You must register with LDWF all motorized vessels/watercraft, including sailboats 12 feet or longer, used in Louisiana waters. You must also register non-motorized houseboats. 

You must title a boat or outboard motor (25 horsepower or more) that is financed or currently titled in another state when you’re registering it in Louisiana, a homemade boat, or a boat that has an incorrect hull identification number.

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.

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