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.
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.