Pennsylvania’s Boater Education Requirements

Any person born on or after January 1st, 1982, is required to have a Pennsylvania Boating Safety Education Certificate in order to operate a motorized boat powered by an engine of 25 horsepower or greater.

Additionally, a Pennsylvania Boating Safety Education Certificate is required to operate a personal watercraft (PWC) in Pennsylvania.

Boating Safety Education Certificates for Pennsylvania residents must be issued by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). Out of state boaters must have a certificate issued for a NASBLA-approved course from their home state.

Pennsylvania’s Age and Horsepower Restrictions

Persons 11 years of age or under may not operate a motorized boat with greater than 25 horsepower under any conditions. This includes personal watercraft (PWCs).

Residents of other states born on or after January 1st, 1982, are exempt from Pennsylvania’s education requirements so long as they do not operate on Pennsylvania waters for more than 60 consecutive days, and they hold a Boating Safety Certificate issued by their state of residence.

Boats powered by an engine of less than 25 horsepower do not have age restrictions for operators.

Personal Watercraft (PWC) Age Restrictions

Persons 12-15 years of age may operate a PWC so long as there are not passengers on board that are under 15 years of age.

A person must be at least 16 years of age to legally rent a PWC.