A new law in the state of Florida now requires any operator of a boat who is born on or after January 1, 1988 must pass an approved boater safety course in order to operate a vessel powered by more than 10 horsepower. This new law, which has been effective since January 1, 2010, replaces the previous law that stated "any operator under the age of 21 operating a boat with more than 10 horsepower must pass a boater safety course".
As the boating population ages, the law will eventually require all boat operators pass a safety course in order to legally operate a vessel. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it may teach boaters a few new tips if not just remind them of things they may have forgotten over the years. Passing a boating safety course will also give you a discount on boat insurance.
One thing has not changed with the new law. As an operator of a vessel, you are still required to carry photo identification and a boating safety education identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Not all states require a safety course. Refer to the State-By-State Law list so you are always in compliance when vacationing in another state. Regardless of your state's boating law, boating safety courses are a good investment of time and money. Each state has unique boating requirements, and the laws, regulations and rules vary from state to state.
If you suffered injuries after a boating accident, call our Florida personal injury team today.