Do I need a license to drive a boat in California?
If you operate any motorized vessel on California waterways (including powered sailboats, paddle-craft, and even undocumented vessels), you need to know about these changes. Starting on January 1st, the state is phasing in mandatory boater education based on operator age. Almost all boaters in California will be required to carry a boating license. In 2018, the mandatory education law will only apply to boaters in California aged 20 and under, but soon it will apply to everyone. Continue reading…
California is a boater’s dream, with its sparkling ocean views and calm, clear lakes – not to mention its year-round sunny weather. Whether you’re passionate about jet-skiing or just enjoying the view, there’s something for everyone here. And once January 1, 2018 rolls around, the mandatory boating safety education law will be phased in by age. To operate any motorized vessels on California waterways, Lifetime California Boater Cards will be needed for everyone by 2025. Read on to find out our fave five boating spots in the golden state and get yours before you go.
It depends on your age. From 2018 to 2025, the state is phasing in mandatory boater education based on operator age, requiring boaters to have a boating license, similar to how a driver’s license is required to legally operate a car on the road. These new regulations will apply to anyone operating a motorized vessel on California waterways (including powered sailboats and paddlecraft). Beginning January 1, 2018, the mandatory education law for boaters in California applies to persons aged 20 and under. Here is the full list of dates by which boating licenses will be required:
Everyone 20 years old and under – Jan 1, 2018
Everyone 25 years old and under – Jan 1, 2019
Everyone 35 years old and under – Jan 1, 2020
Everyone 40 years old and under – Jan 1, 2021
Everyone 45 years old and under – Jan 1, 2022
Everyone 50 years old and under – Jan 1, 2023
Everyone 60 years old and under – Jan 1, 2024
Everyone regardless of age – Jan 1, 2025
There are additional benefits to being a BOATsmart! cardholder – once you’ve obtained the card, it will be good for life, it will keep you legal when boating in other states, and you’ll even save money on your boat insurance. Get your California Boater Card now and be prepared for the change!