Florida Boating Regulations, Safety and Education

By Terry Gibson

If you’re planning to use a boat or personal watercraft in Florida, you should know about the Sunshine's State's regulations and requirements.

If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, you must get the Florida Boating Safety Education I.D. Card to operate any powered watercraft with more than 10 horsepower, including personal water craft, or PWC.

Getting the card is simple and well worth the time, and for a modest fee

Some of the rules to be aware of include:

- No one under age 14 may operate any Personal Water Craf (PWC) on Florida waters at any time, even if such person possesses a Boating Safety Education ID Card.

- No one under age 18 may rent/lease a PWC.

- It is illegal for the owner of a PWC to knowingly allow a person under 14 years of age to operate a PWC.

Those of just a few of the highlights you need to know.

Once you’ve passed the course, you are able to navigate Florida's waterways immediately by printing out a temporary card until your official card arrives by mail.

All states that have mandatory boater education requirements will accept a Florida Boating Safety Education I.D. Card. They also are respected in Canadian waters.

Here’s a list of sources for information about Florida boating regulations, requirements, safety, education, and courses:

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
Boating Safety Education Identification Card

Boating Regulations

Boater Education

Boating Safety Courses

Boating Safety Courses / Facebook

State of Florida
Florida Boating Course

U.S. Coast Guard
Boating Safety Courses

Homeland Security / U.S. Coast Guard Auxilliary
Boating Safety Education

Save The Manatee Club
Boating Safety Classes

Florida Atlantic University
Florida Boating Handbook (PDF)

National Park Service / The Everglades
Boater Education Program