Boating license requirements in Massachusetts
Youth who are between 12 and 15 years of age must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course in order to operate a motorboat without adult supervision.
Upon successful completion of such a course, students are issued a state "boating safety certificate" which must be in the possession of the certified operator when underway.
Personal watercraft users who are 16 or 17 years of age must also complete the course.
Massachusetts boating laws & regulations
PFD requirements in Massachusetts:
In Massachusetts, PFD's are required to be worn by:
Youth less than 12 years of age
Personal watercraft users
Water-skiers, canoeists/kayakers from September 15 - May 15.
A boat owner or a boat's operator is responsible to ensure that passengers on-board wear life preservers as required.
BUI in Massachusetts:
Massachusetts Boating Under the Influence (BUI) law prohibits anyone from operating any vessel under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance. A person is considered to be boating under the influence if he or she has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater.
FAQ - Boating in Massachusetts
- Who is required to take the boating safety course in Massachusetts?
Youth who are between 12 and 15 years of age must complete a NASBLA approved boating safety course in order to operate a motorboat without adult supervision.
All PWC operators aged 16 or 17 years must also complete an approved boating course.
- Who is exempt from the Massachusetts boating license ?
Motorboat operators older than 15 years of age and PWC operators older than 17 years of age are exempt from the boating safety course.
Non-residents who posses a valid NASBLA approved certification from another state are also exempt.
- What are the age restrictions regarding boating safety in Massachusetts?
No person under 12 years of age may operate a motorboat, unless accompanied on-board and directly supervised by a competent person 18 years of age or older.
Youth less than 16 years of age are not allowed to operate personal watercraft.
- Do I need to register my boat in Massachusetts?
Yes, state law requires any motor-powered boat, or boat operated on a Massachusetts public waterway, to be registered. This includes motorized fishing boats, canoes and sailboats with motors, and jet skis or wet bikes.
- 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.