Boating license requirements in Nebraska
Anyone born after December 31, 1985 is required to successfully complete a NASBLA approved Boating Safety Course and possess a course certificate while operating a boat or personal watercraft.
Nebraska boating laws & regulations
PDF requirements in Nebraska:
Every vessel, except sailboards, or other description of vessel, including
any buoyant device capable of being used as a means of transportation on water,
shall carry at least one wearable U.S. Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) of suitable size for each person on board. All such devices shall be kept in good and seamanlike condition and be so placed as to be readily
accessible. Each wearable PFD must be worn and used in accordance with the
conditions marked on the device in order to meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements.
It is unlawful for children less than thirteen years to fail to wear U.S. Coast Guard approved PFDs, of suitable size, at all times while aboard any vessel on the waters of the State except when hunting waterfowl in an anchored vessel. Operators of vessels shall at all times be held responsible for this
Vessels 26 feet, but less than 40 feet shall carry one U. S. Coast
Guard approved wearable PFD for each person on board plus one
throwable ring buoy size 20, 24 or 30 inch.
Vessels over 40 feet shall carry one offshore wearable PFD for
each person on board plus one throwable ring buoy size 20, 24 or 30 inch.
Alcohol and Boating:
Operating a motorboat in Nebraska with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or greater constitutes Boating Under the Influence (BUI) and carries a penalty of up to $1,000 fine, up to six months in jail and the loss of boating privileges for six months.
FAQ - Boating in Nebraska
- Who is required to take the boating safety course in Nebraska?
Anyone born after December 31, 1985 is required to successfully complete a Boating Safety Course and possess a course certificate while operating a boat or personal watercraft.
- Who is exempt from needing the Nebraska boating license ?
Anyone born prior to December 31, 1985 and non-residents who have successfully completed a NASBLA approved boating safety course recognized by another state are allowed to operate a motorboat in Nebraska.
- What are the age restrictions regarding boating safety in Nebraska?
You must be at least 14 years of age to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft in Nebraska.
- Do I need to register my boat in Nebraska?
Requirements to register a boat in NE apply to boats with engines operating over any public or private waters within the state, including the Missouri River and Lewis and Clark Lake. You must obtain an official application, available at county treasurer’s offices, NGPC offices, boat dealers and retailers that sell hunting and fishing permits. Nebraska boat registration instructions dictate that all mechanically-powered vessels must be registered unless their type appears in the “exemptions” section below.
As of 2016, one of the new requirements to register a boat in NE is to pay a fee to fund programs that combat aquatic invasive species. Non-resident boaters who use NE waterways will receive an Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp after paying a $15 fee and ordering one online.
Requirements to register a boat in NE for the first time include registering in person at the county treasurer’s office in your county of residence.
- 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.