Who needs a Hawaii Boated Education Card?

All individuals who operate a motorized vessel in Hawaii’s State waters must have taken a boating safety course and show proof of certification. The law states that any person operating a power driven vessel on the waters of the State shall be required to passess a certification of completion from a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved course on the safe use and operation of a power driven vessel.


Obtaining Your Hawaii Boating License

You can obtain your Hawaii boating license by taking the online BOATsmart! Course –  you’ll be on the water with confidence in just a few hours.


What are Hawaii’s Life Jacket Requirements

All boats in Hawaii are required to carry a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket for each person aboard the boat. The only exemptions to the lifejacket requirement are racing shells, racing canoes, racing kayaks and rowing skulls.

In Hawaii, passengers  12 years of age and younger (or under 13 years of age) are required to wear a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket while aboard any boat that is underway on the ocean waters, or navigable streams of the state and while the boat is moored, anchored or in a non-designated offshore mooring area (unless they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin).

Any person aboard a thrill craft (PWC) is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved, lifejacket at all times.

Any person being towed by a boat is required to wear a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket  at all times. This includes people being towed on waterskis, inner tubes, wakeboards, aquaplanes, or a similar device. Inflatable lifejackets will not meet this requirement. 


Hawaii Boating License Requirements for Personal Watercrafts (PWCS)

Starting in November 2014, all individuals who operate a motorized vessel in Hawaii’s State waters must have taken a boating safety course and show proof of certification.  Any person operating a thrill craft that is equipped with a lanyard ignition safety switch should attach the lanyard to their wrist, or to their lifejacket.


Boating and Alcohol in Hawaii

Hawaii law prohibits anyone from boating while intoxicated (BWI)—that is, operating a vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotics, or other habit-forming drug. Alcohol and drugs cause impaired balance, blurred vision, poor coordination, impaired judgment, and slower reaction times. Alcohol is a major contributor to boating accidents and fatalities.

Hawaii law states that a person is considered to be boating while intoxicated if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more within four hours after the time of the alleged violation.


Hawaii’s Boat Accident Reporting Requirements

If you’ve been involved in a boating accident in Hawaii and a person was killed, disappeared from the boat, was badly injured and required medical treatment or there was property damage exceeding $2,000, you’ll be required to submit a Boat Accident Report as quickly as possible to law authorities.

Visit the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation website for more information about the proper procedures for reporting boat accidents in Florida.


Hawaii’s Mandatory EPIRB/VHF-FM Radio Requirements

Boats that are operating more than 1 mile off shore are required to be equipped with a properly functioning EPIRB or VHF-FM Radio. Exceptions: Canoes, thrill craft, surfboards and paddleboards. Kayaks and training sailboats are also exempt so long as they are accompanied by a boat carrying one of these devices.


Hawaii’s Boat Noise Restriction Requirements

A boat propelled by an internal combustion engine shall be equipped with an efficient muffler, underwater exhaust or other modern device. The device must be in good working order, in constant operation and be capable of adequately muffling the sound of the engine exhaust.

The use of open exhausts or cutouts is prohibited unless the boat is participating in a regatta or race approved by the Hawaii DLNR or a federal agency.


Hawaii Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation Contact Information

For more information about safe boating in Florida, contact the Department at:

Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation
4 Sand Island Access Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

Tel: (808) 587-1966