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Campfire Collective Jul 14th, 2017

Mississippi Boating Laws and Regulations

MISSISSIPPI BOATER EDUCATION CARD

Commonly known as a ‘Mississippi Boating License’, your Mississippi Boater Education Card is proof that you’ve completed an approved Boating Safety Course and have obtained the knowledge you need to operate a boat safely. Mississippi boaters born after June 30th, 1980 are required to obtain a Mississippi Boating License to legally operate any powerboat. Anyone under the age of 12 years while operating a vessel must be accompanied by a person 21 years or older.

OBTAINING YOUR MISSISSIPPI BOATING LICENSE

Get your Mississippi Boating License today by signing up for the online BOATsmart! Course right here. Register for the BOATsmart! Mississippi Course, pass the test and you’ll be enjoying Mississippi’s waterways in just a few hours.

Get your Official Mississippi
Boating License

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

Get your Official Mississippi
Boating License

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

LIFE JACKET REQUIREMENTS IN MISSISSIPPI

In Mississippi, all boats are required to carry at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved wearable life jacket for each person on board the boat. Boats that are 16 feet in length or more are also required to have at least one throwable flotation device.

Although adult boaters are not required to wear a life jacket, it is highly recommended that all boaters wear a life jacket at all times. Remember Mississippi, a life jacket only works if you WEAR IT!

All passengers 12 years of age or under must wear a Type I, II or III life jacket at all times while on board any boat, under 26 feet in length, while the boat is underway. WEAR IT! It’s the law for kids in Mississippi.

Boater Registration in Mississippi

In Mississippi, you must have a Mississippi Certificate of Number (boat registration). This is a pocket-sized registration card and it must be on board with you and available for enforcement officer inspection when you are operating your vessel.

You also require validation decals to operate your vessel legally on Mississippi waters. Any motorized vessel and all sailboats are required to be registered in Mississippi.

The registration number and validation decals must be displayed along the bow of your boat. The number must be painted or affixed to both sides of the bow and must read from left to right and be 3 inch high block letters. The color of the numbers must contrast with the color of the bow so it is readable. Letter must be separated from number by using a space or a dash (-). Decals must also appear on both sides of the bow and must precede the prefix letters of the registration number.  

BOATING AND ALCOHOL

It is illegal in the state of Mississippi to operate any motorized boat or personal watercraft (PWC), powered by an engine of more than 25 hp, while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or illegal chemicals.

Boat operators in Mississippi are considered to be under the influence if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, they are under the influence of alcohol, or they are under the influence of any substance that impair their ability to operate a boat.

Learn more about the risks of boating under the influence of alcohol by taking the BOATsmart! Boating Safety Course.

Boat operators convicted of boating under the influence (BUI) will be subject to a fine up to $1,000 and up to 2 days imprisonment, upon a first offence. Subsequent offences will result in more severe fines, jail time, and additional penalties, including loss of boat operating privileges.

BOAT ACCIDENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS IN MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi boaters who are involved in a boating accidents where a person has been killed, injured, incapacitated for 24 hours or more, or where there was property damage of more than $100, are required to report the accident. Accidents must be reported to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks or the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, depending on where the accident occurs.

Boating accidents where a person has been killed must be reported within 48 hours. Accidents results in injuries, incapacitation and property damage must be reported within 5 days.

Boating accidents that occur north of Interstate Highway 10 must be reported to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Accidents that occur south of Interstate Highway 10 must be reported to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS CONTACT INFORMATION

The BOATsmart! Course has been approved by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. For more information about safe boating in Mississippi, contact the Department at:

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
(601) 432-2400
1505 Eastover Dr.
Jackson, MS
39211

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