New Mexico's State Boating Laws

What to do if you’re Involved in a Boat Accident

An operator involved in a boat accident is required to:

  • Stop their boat at the scene of the accident.
  • Render assistance to any person who has been injured or who is in danger so long as they can do so without risking their safety or their passenger’s safety.
  • Provide their name, address and boat information in writing to any person who was injured, and to the owner of any property that was damaged as a result of the accident.

Boat Accident Reporting in New Mexico

Submitting a Boat Accident Report

Boat Accident Report Forms are available at offices of state parks (with lakes). Reports shall be sent to and are also available at:

State Parks Division,

1220 South Saint Francis Drive,

Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87505

(505) 476-3355.

A boat accident report must be filed with the New Mexico State Parks Division within 48 hours if:

  • A person is killed or disappears from the boat.
  • A person requires medical treatment beyond first aid.
  • There is property damage in excess of $100.

It is illegal to knowingly make false claims or statements when reporting a collision, accident or casualty.

Law Enforcement for Boaters in New Mexico

Boating laws in New Mexico are enforced by officials from the New Mexico State Parks Division, including:

  • The director, park custodians and other employees of the division.
  • Every sheriff in their respective county.
  • Every member of the State Police.
  • The Coast Guard (on federal waterways).

Enforcement officers have the authority to stop and board boats to ensure that operators are in compliance with state and federal laws.