FAQs for Liveries

Who needs a boating safety education ID card in order to legally operate a vessel?

In order to operate a motorboat of 10 horsepower or greater, Florida law requires anyone who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the FWC.

Florida does not have a "boating license." The Boating Safety Education Identification Card is proof of successful completion of the educational requirements and is valid for life.


Are some people who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 exempt from the above requirements?

Yes, there are some exemptions. The exemptions are listed below.

  • A person licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to serve as master of a vessel.
  • A person operating on a private lake or pond.
  • An operator who is accompanied onboard by a person who is at least 18 years old and possesses the required Boating Safety Education Identification Card, provided that person is attendant to and responsible for the safe operation of the vessel.
  • An operator who is accompanied onboard by a person who is exempt from the educational requirements, provided that person is attendant to and responsible for the safe operation of the vessel.
  • A nonresident who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a NASBLA-approved boater safety course or equivalency examination from another state.
  • A person is operating a vessel within 90 days after the purchase of that vessel and has available for inspection aboard that vessel a bill of sale meeting all the requirements as established in Chapter 328.46(1), Florida Statutes.
  • A person operating a vessel within 90 days after completing an approved boating safety course, as required in Chapter 327.395(1), and has a photographic I.D. and a boater education course completion certificate showing proof of having completed the required boating safety education course. The course completion certificate must provide the student’s first and last name, date of birth, and the date the course was successfully completed.

What is the minimum age to operate a PWC?

No person under 14 years of age may operate a personal watercraft (such as a Jet Ski and WaveRunner) on Florida waters. 


How old must a person be for a livery to rent them a personal watercraft?

18 years of age. A livery may not knowingly lease, hire or rent a personal watercraft to any person who is under 18 years of age. (This refers to the agreement/contract for the rental – not the operation of the personal watercraft. The minimum operation age is 14 years of age.) 


What are the insurance requirements for vessel livery operators in Florida?

A livery may not lease, hire or rent any personal watercraft or offer to lease, hire or rent any personal watercraft unless the livery first obtains and carries in full force and effect a policy from a licensed insurance carrier in this state, insuring against any accident, loss, injury, property damage or other casualty caused by or resulting from the operation of the personal watercraft. 

The insurance policy shall provide coverage of at least $500,000 per person and $1 million per event. The livery must have proof of insurance available for inspection at the location where personal watercraft are being leased, hired or rented, or offered for least, hire or rent


Our livery does not rent personal watercraft, are there still requirements that we have to follow?

Yes. Florida law (and administrative rules) require all vessel liveries to provide posted boating safety information to be available for viewing by all vessel renters.


What type of certification of completion of boating safety education (for people who are renting a boat) can a livery accept for an out-of-state visitor?

Visitors from other states (who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988) who want to rent a vessel of 10 horsepower or greater, are required to have certification of completion of an approved boating safety education course. Florida law allows a visitor from another state to use proof of completion (in the form of a card, certificate or something similar) from another state as long as it meets the standards established by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). Most states (or their contractors) issue certification cards to students who successfully complete an approved course. (The card or certificate should have a statement or logo that identifies the course as having met NASBLA standards.) This applies only to visitors from other states; Florida residents must present proof of completion of a Florida boating safety course (approved by NASBLA and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission).


What are the boating safety education requirements for livery staff?

Any employee delivering information to customers must have successfully completed a boating safety education course (approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission).

Employees providing pre-ride/pre-rental instruction must have completed the online livery course located at http://learning.myfwc.com/course/view.php?id=19.



FWC Facts:
The largest lake in Florida is Lake Okeechobee.

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