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Ohio Age and Education Requirements

Do I need a boating license in Ohio?

If you were born on or after January 1, 1982, you must successfully complete a boating course or a proficiency exam to operate a boat powered by more than 10 horsepower. You must carry your boater education card with you when boating.

The boating course must be NASBLA-approved and the proficiency exam must be approved by the ODNR Division of Watercraft.

For Powerboats greater than 10 HP

  • Children under 12 can operate any other type of powerboat greater than 10HP as long as they are under the direct visual and audible supervision of an adult (18 or older) who is onboard AND as long as the child AND the supervising adult (if born on or after January 1, 1982) have education certificates.
  • Children 12 and over may operate any other type of powerboat greater than 10HP as long as they have an education certificate. Adult supervision is not required.

For PWC

  • Children under 12 may not operate PWC, not even with an education certificate.
  • Children 12 to 15 can operate PWC as long as they are under the direct supervision of an adult (18 or older) who is onboard AND as long as the child AND the supervising adult (if born on or after January 1, 1982) have education certificates.
  • Children 16 or older can operate PWC as long as they have an education certificate. Adult supervision is not required.