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Campfire Collective Jul 12th, 2018

Minnesota Boating Laws and Regulations

Who needs a Boater Education Card in Minnesota?

Any person from 12-17 years of age, is required to obtain a Minnesota Watercraft Operator’s Permit, commonly called a boat license, to operate a motorized boat over 25 horsepower.

Non-residents who already possess an Operator’s Certificate or permit issued by their home state, do not need to obtain another one from Minnesota.

Operator’s Permit education materials can be obtained from the MDNR, sheriff’s offices, marine dealers or online.

Minnesota’s age and horsepower restrictions

A person under 12 years of age:

  • May operate a motorized boat of 25 horsepower or less.
  • May operate a boat of 25-75 horsepower so long as they have someone at least 21 years of age on board with them who may take direct control.
  • Is restricted from operating a boat of more than 75 horsepower (even with adult supervision).

A person 12-17 years of age:

  • May operate a motorized boat of 25 horsepower or less.
  • May operate a boat over 25 horsepower if they have either a Watercraft Operator’s Permit, or they have someone at least 21 years of age on board with them who may take direct control.

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The Official NASBLA and State-Approved Boating Course, Test & License.

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Boating License

The Official NASBLA and State-Approved Canada Boating
Course, Test & License.

MINNESOTA LIFE JACKET REQUIREMENTS

As of May 2005, Minnesota law requires a life jacket to be worn by children less than 10 years of age when aboard watercraft in Minnesota when the craft is under way (not tied up at a dock or permanent mooring).

MINNESOTA BOATING LICENSE REQUIREMENTS FOR PERSONAL WATERCRAFT (PWCS)

A person under 13 years of age:

  • Is restricted from operating a PWC (even with adult supervision).

A person 13 years of age:

  • May operate a PWC so long as they have someone at least 21 years of age on board with them,  or they have their Minnesota Watercraft Operator’s Permit and are operating within view of someone at least 21 years of age.

A person 14-17 years of age:

  • May operate a PWC so long as they have their Minnesota Watercraft Operator’s Permit, or they have someone at least 21 years of age on board with them.

Boating and Alcohol in Minnesota

Boaters are allowed to have an open beer on a boat. If the boat operator is driving carelessly or recklessly and is over .04, they can still be arrested for driving drunk.

Officials remind boaters that being arrested for BWI carries similar penalties and fines as DWI and that can affect your insurance the same as a DWI.

MINNESOTA’S BOAT ACCIDENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

By law, you must stop and render whatever assistance is necessary to any person involved in a boating accident unless the action would endanger your own boat, crew, or passengers.

By law, boat operators involved in an accident must report the accident by the quickest means possible to the county sheriff where the accident or incident occurred if it has resulted in:

  • Property damage of $2,000 or more or
  • Total loss of a boat or
  • Personal injury or
  • Fatality

If a second boat or other property is involved, the operator must provide his or her name and address, the boat registration number, and the owner’s name and address to the other operator or owner.

MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES CONTACT INFORMATION

Minnesota Ministry of Natural Resources 

500 Lafayette Rd
St Paul, MN
55155
651-296-6157

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