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California Jet ski license

California State Parks Boating and Waterways

United States Coast Guard

NASBLA - National Association of State Boating Law Administrator

As of the dates shown below, these Jet ski drivers will be required to carry a boater card issued by DBW, unless they meet certain exemptions. **

California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 678.11(b) contains the following phase-in schedule based on operator age:

  • January 1, 2018 Persons 20 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2019 Persons 25 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2020 Persons 35 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2021 Persons 40 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2022 Persons 45 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2023 Persons 50 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2024 Persons 60 years of age or younger
  • January 1, 2025 All persons regardless of age

Jet ski license

* While this statute takes effect on January 1, 2018, DBW is in the process of promulgating regulations.  Pending the adoption of the regulations, DBW will continue its education and outreach efforts regarding the California Boater Card Program.  The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the California Boater Card Program regulations in early 2018.  DBW will post information regarding the regulations soon.

**California age restrictions for operating a motorized vessel: According to California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 658.5, NO person under 16 years of age may operate a boat with a motor of more than 15 horsepower, except for a sailboat that does not exceed 30 feet in length or a dinghy used directly between a moored boat and the shore (or between two moored boats). The law allows children 12-15 years of age to operate boats with a motor of more than 15 horsepower or sailboats over 30 feet if supervised on board by an adult at least 18 years of age who is in possession of a California Boater Card as required by California law. Violating these provisions constitutes an infraction.

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