license for jet ski

Do You Need A License to Drive A Jet Ski? Offshore and Inshore

You can’t deny the exhilarating happiness you might get whenever flying across the water on a jet ski. Yet, you will be extremely enthusiastic about flying, no matter how much technical proficiency or better learning is required to stay secure while on the water.

If you want to operate a jet ski offshore or inshore legally, a license for jet ski is a must (except in some provinces) that might depend on some co-factors such as local regulation or age.

Otherwise, you can take a boating safety course on your to-do list.

We have assembled all you need to know under one roof for your assistance. So, that you might determine whether you need a license to drive a jet ski; how and where to get it.

Is A License for Riding Jet Ski Must?

Well, it really depends and could vary from individual province laws and different countries; hence, you can’t define itself shortly like the one-word answer is no or yes!

You can participate in versatile ski activities without formalities like a license in some places, and in others, it’s absolutely recommended; no way!

It’s pretty simple; you have to understand the law in your own country or state either a mandatory license or a safety course would be better initially.

Furthermore, the rules, regulations, or other procedures will be varied on local law if you want to ride on public waterways. A driver’s license is optional for purchasing personal transportation or watercraft like jet skis.

What are the Top 7 Reasons You Need A Jet Ski License?

In our prior experiences, it would be risky to hit the water without obtaining a license, even if your province law permits you to do it. Getting one license is beneficial and the best option anyway.

I know that over forty states require a jet ski license mandatorily.

I will show you the basic reasons you need to take a Jet Ski license as your utmost preference before jumping into ultimate fun!

Reason 1 # Knowledge of Safety

If you want to securely acquire knowledge about using Jet skis, you must hook the boater education course to the top priority list as soon as possible. It is systematized with information about how to use your jet ski appropriately and rules governing waterways.

 The boater education course modules are concluded with various live-action videos, animations, or texts regarding security that intensely present you with how to operate a jet ski with utmost security.

You can enroll in a boater safety education course online that might be developed significantly for your state. You would learn adequate knowledge regarding local licensing regulations, education, insurance requirements, and how to ski in unfamiliar weather conditions.

People May Ask:
Question: What is the procedure for Jet Skiers to get Boater Safety Certificate?
Answer: Legitimately, with The Boating Safety Certificate, anyone over 18 can enroll in courses either offline or online certified by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

You can follow the laws, procedures, and regulations outlined in United States coast guard approved boating safety course and boating education to keep everyone safe and entertained on water.

Furthermore, you must take part in written exams or quizzes and obtain passing marks to go further to the next section. The overall curriculum of boating safety education is divided into a few sections; if you fail to get a passing mark on that individual section, you can retake it.

Reason 2 # Prevents Unwanted Accidents

Small Boats and Jet skis do not look alike, but they are known as personal watercraft and subject to identical principles. Jet skis are a bit more than large Yachts, but they are further dangerous than other recreational vessels or boats.

The U.S.A. Coast Guard annual statistics show more than 800+ fatal injuries like concussions, serious burns, spinal cord injuries, debilitating neck or back injuries, damaged ear drums, and broken bones caused for Jet ski accidents.

The total number of deaths of misoperating ski riders is also heartbreaking, which is more than fifty. The reason behind this is inadequate instruction, speeding, reckless operation, fire or explosion, inexperience, bad weather, lack of training, intoxication, etc.

Above all, the main reason is that they might operate the watercraft without the proper certification as required by law. After adequate training and proper adult supervision, you will get a license that might reduce potential injuries, accidents, and unfortunate deaths due to Jet Skis.

Reason 3 # Proper Usage of Handlebars

The most natural problem of the apprentice riders is that they have trouble keeping the jet ski straight.

Consequently, if you steer the handlebars while driving, perhaps that causes you to veer off to the side and avert them from having a vibrant view of what’s ahead.

Practice makes a man perfect; therefore, before getting the license, you must learn and practice skiing many times. The Jet skis don’t have brakes, and the learning method will let you know how to handle the handlebars.

Reason 4 # Re-boarding

If desired, knowing how to release the throttle and use reverse to maneuver is crucial. Falling from the Jet ski is pretty natural, conversely, knowing how to re-board, done from the stern, is obligatory for mistake-free secure water trips.

Reason 5 # Risk-Free Journey

Jet skiing is eventually a sport that comprises riding at high speeds. The license ensures a risk-free water journey with other passengers and water users. While applying to obtain a license, you have to teach being calm or not zipping across the water at high speeds. Yet, it might provoke you to be more thrilled.

Reason 6 # Understanding of Riding Wakes

The boating course syllabus for the  Jet ski license is intended to deliver vital information such as the safe operation of watercraft, legal requirements, etiquette on the water, and boating emergencies.

Moreover, you will also learn the core understanding of jumping wakes, the moments when it would be better to slow down your craft.

Remember, it’s highly recommended not to go fast to jump a wake, as, acceptably, jumping waves will take huge practice, patience, and time to be secured.

Reason 7 # To Get Insurance

Carrying a driver’s license, life jacket, or other supplements is compulsory for motorized watercraft, personal watercraft operation, or jet ski rental. First and foremost, without a fishing license, boat ed, boat registration, and boating license, getting Insurance won’t be very easy.

What are the Crucial Factors of A License For Jet Ski Driving?

We have clearly stated that apart from the exterior design, the Jet Ski is legally classified as a boat or watercraft and is subject to similar laws as a Fifty feet Yacht!

You can call the Jet Ski Driving License by distinct names, such as Jet Ski Safety Course Certificate, the PWC License, or the Jet Ski License. Hence, stop being confused while surfing the net and get the same terminology on versatile names.

Before taking any course, we recommend not to be misled while surveying any online sites that try to imply otherwise and check whether it is NASBLA-approved.

Although every province has a significant set of requirements, I will try to mention the necessities that might not collide with the crucial factors of other states.

Principal Requirements: Dimension and Category of the vessel, Age constraint of the administered license owner, Driver’s License & administration of the license owner, etc.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Requirements: A safeguard lanyard, No inflatable life jacket, Time limitation of a particular day, Person limitation who is permitted to ride on or be towed by a jet ski, Taking some natural resources and legal guardian consignment, etc.

Apart from the pre-mentioned factors, there might be added necessary factors that apply to jet skis significantly in particular states. On the top, the age limit and insurer policies can be varied from state to state.

Which States Are Required Licenses If You Were Born After 1970 – 2000?

While traveling with your Jetski, you must remember that not all states follow the same age restriction laws to get a license, and keeping track might be a pain. For your assistance, here go a list of the rules for some states that are required :

  • Maryland ( Peoples who are born after July 1, 1972, can apply to get a license )
  • Vermont ( January 1, 1974 )
  • Ohio (January 1, 1982, with an engine over ten hp )
  • Nevada (January 1, 1983, with the engine over 15 hp)
  • Missouri (born after January 1, 1984 ),
  • Nebraska ( December 31, 1985, safety course certificate required for all riders)
  • Arkansas (1986 ), Rhode Island ( January 1, 1986 ), West Virginia (December 31, 1986)
  • North Carolina ( January 1, 1988, having an engine over ten hp )
  • New Mexico, Wisconson ( January 1, 1989 )
  • New York ( January 1, 1993), Texas (September 1, 1993)
  • Michigan (born after July 1, 1996)

Which States of the U.S.A have Not Required a license for jet skiing?

Still, there are a few provinces in the U.S. where a PWC license should not be mandatorily carried. These are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Georgia (except for ages 12 to 15), Louisiana ( except for boaters under 16), and Maine ( except those under 18 and they have to show the certificate of govt. approved boating safety course).

What Are The Procedures for taking a safety course to qualify for a License From Online?

A license for jet skiing is pretty simple; you just have to track some straightforward steps, nothing more than that!

  • Initially, you must surf google and find some authentic Boat-ed websites.
  • Check whether the course is U.S. coastal guard approved or not.
  • Please read the legal requirements thoroughly, as I have mentioned before, as all formalities, payment methods ( some of them are even free of cost), and criteria might differ from state to state.
  • Find the unique course module which is adjustable to your state’s law.
  • Sign up using your smartphone, PC, or tablet.
  • Learn and complete it to take part in the quizzes and pass all the units. You have a chance to sit for exams many times, no worries.
  • Maintaining the age restrictions, anyone can take part in the exam, including outsiders; not only Florida residents can apply.
  • After completion, successfully receive the boating certificate through your mail credentials, and print it!
  • The printed documentation copy of your card will prove that you have fruitfully accomplished your boater safety course.
  • The achievement card will never be expired and will be renewed frequently.
  • In most states, you must carry the card; FWC stipulates that photo ID with you while skiing.

More Specific Source:

Which states require licenses for all riders between 12 and 20?

  • Colorado, Delaware ( under 14 years and required USCG captain’s license)
  • Tennessee, Washington (12+)
  • Montana, Kansas, Illinois (between 12 -18 years of age)
  •  Utah, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Oklahoma (12 to 15 years of age)
  • Minnesota (14 to 17 years of age)
  • North Dakota (under 15 with an engine over ten hp)
  • Iowa, Kentucky  ( 12 to 17 if the motor’s horsepower is above 10 hp)
  • South Carolina (under 16 with an engine over 15 hp)


Question: Which state of the U.S.A. requires a license for all riders of all ages?

Answer: Mississippi, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida ( permitted for skiing only for those 14+ ages), Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey (applicable only for lakes, non-tidal rivers, creeks, and lakes).

Question: What are the vessel engine’s horsepower requirements to get a Jet ski License?

Answer :

  • California ( If the motor’s engine is above fifteen horsepower, the license is mandatory)
  • Hawaii (Ten horsepower)
  • New Hampshire (Twenty-five horsepower and if it goes over 20 mph)’

Similar Article: Water in Jet Ski Engine

Final Thoughts

Genuinely, the necessity of obtaining a license for jet ski to stay safe while having fun. Appealingly, it’s a great hope that a communal number of states are inaugurating obligatory training to get a PWC license.

Whether your state’s law makes it compulsory or not, the significance of taking the course is very convenient, rich in easy life-saving tips, and courtesy of online training.

Hence, is it logical not to carry your PWC license while water traveling?

Leave a Reply