Any person born after January 1st, 1986, must successfully complete a Boating Safety Course in order to operate a motorized boat that exceeds 10 horsepower. Anyone who operates a personal watercraft (PWC) must successfully complete a Boating Safety Course, regardless of their age.
The Boater Education Course must be approved by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
The Boating Education Certificate must be carried on board during operation and be presented upon the request of any authorized law enforcement officer to show proof of compliance.
- Operators being supervised on board by a person 18 years of age or older who has passed an approved Boater Education Course.
- Operators who hold a valid commercial vessel operator’s license.
- Operators who are not residents of Rhode Island and meet the requirements of their state of residence.
- Operators who have been residents of Rhode Island for 60 days or less.
- Operators who have rented a boat and have successfully completed the requirements for renters (renters of boats powered by a motor of more than 10 horsepower must watch an instructional video and pass a written examination prior to operation).
Note: There are NO exemptions for personal watercraft operators. All PWC operators must have passed an approved Boating Safety Course.