Do You Need a Special License to Operate Your Personal Watercraft?
If you are wondering if you need a special license to operate your personal watercraft, the answer isn’t black and white. You may not be required in your state to carry a license for personal watercraft operation, but it is highly advised you do receive some form of training to protect not only yourself, but the safety of your fellow sailors.
Under law, if you live in Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia or Wyoming (phew) the answer is “yes.” If you operate a personal watercraft in any of these states and are pulled over by law enforcement without the specified license, you will be cited and possibly towed ashore.
Regardless of the state in which you may operate your personal watercraft, you can take a safety class nearly anywhere. Though personal watercrafts provide great fun for people of all ages, there are many things that can go wrong on the open water. And the more prepared you may be for the unexpected, the safer of an operator you will be. Because as the old adage goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Though you don’t need a license under law to operate a personal watercraft in most states, taking a safety course on personal watercraft operation is highly advised. Safety classes advise the right course of action during not only normal operation, but could save your life in the event of an emergency. Even if the law doesn’t require a license, it’s a great way to ensure that you are safely and properly operating your water craft.