Texas’ Boating License Requirements

An operator born after September 1st, 1993 (who is at least 13 years of age) is able to operate a boat without supervision so long as they have successfully completed a Boater Education Course, commonly called a boating license, that has been approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

In order to legally operate, operators are required to carry the following on board:

  • Their photo ID (i.e. drivers license, or student ID card) and;
  • Their Boater Education Certification card (boating license) issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, or;
  • Proof of completion of an Operator’s License issued by the Coast Guard.

Texas Boating License Requirements

Non-residents are able to operate their boats within Texas so long as they have obtained and can supply proof of completing, a Boater Education Course from another state that is accepted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and that has been NASBLA-approved.

Meeting the above education requirements will allow a person to operate any of the following:

  • A motorized boat of 15 horsepower or more.
  • A wind-powered sailboat greater than 14 feet in length.
  • A personal watercraft (PWC). 

Texas’ Age and Horsepower Restrictions

Children under 13 years of age may operate a boat if they are supervised by a person who meets the following requirements:

  • They are on board the boat while it is underway.
  • They are legally able to operate the boat, if required.
  • They are 18 years of age or older.