Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
< Back to Boating
Campfire Collective Aug 23rd, 2017

West Virginia Boating Laws and Regulations

WEST VIRGINIA BOATER EDUCATION CARD

A West Virginia Boater Education Card, more commonly known as a ‘West Virginia Boating License’ is proof that you’ve completed an approved Boating Safety Course and have obtained the knowledge to operate a boat safely. In West Virginia, a Boater Education Card is required for any person born after December 31st, 1986, in order to operate any motorized boat or personal watercraft (PWC).

Anyone between the ages of 12 and 14 years may legally operate a vessel, including a PWC, powered by a motor of 10 or less horsepower only if he or she is accompanied by a person 18 years or older.

OBTAINING YOUR WEST VIRGINIA BOATING LICENSE

By taking the online BOATsmart! Course right here. Register for the BOATsmart! West Virginia Course today and you’ll be on the water with confidence in just a few hours.

Get your Official West Virginia
Boating License

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

Get your Official West Virginia
Boating License

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

LIFE JACKET REQUIREMENTS IN WEST VIRGINIA

Boaters in West Virginia are required to carry at least one, Coast Guard-approved, wearable life jacket, for each passenger on board the boat. Additionally, boats that are 16 feet in length or greater are required to carry a Type IV (throwable) flotation device. Although adults are not required to wear life jackets at all times while boating, you should always WEAR IT!

In West Virginia, children that are 12 years of age and under are required to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on the deck of any boat that is underway. Additionally, all boats 16 feet in length or greater are required to carry at least one, Type IV throwable flotation device. It’s a West Virginia law for kids to WEAR IT! Set a good example by wearing yours too!

USE OF PERSONAL WATERCRAFTS IN WEST VIRGINIA

Personal watercraft operators born after December 31, 1986 are required to take an approved West Virginia Boating Safety Course and have obtain a Boater Education Card in order to legally operate a PWC on West Virginia waters. A PWC is more commonly known as a ‘Sea-Doo’ or ‘Jet-Ski’.

BOATING AND ALCOHOL IN WEST VIRGINIA

It is illegal in the state of West Virginia to operate any motorized boat or PWC while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any combination thereof.

West Virginia boaters are considered to be under the influence if they have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher.

Boat operators who are under 21 years of age are considered to be under the influence of they have a BAC level of more than 0.02% but less than 0.08%.

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

Boat operators in West Virginia who are convicted of boating under the influence (BUI) will be guilty of a misdemeanor and may receive a fine of up to $500 and up to 6 months in jail. Subsequent offences will result in more serious fines and penalties.

BOAT ACCIDENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS IN WEST VIRGINIA

Boat operators involved in a boating accident in West Virginia are required to render assistance to any person who has been injured, or who is in danger, so long as they can do so without risking their own safety, and provide their name, address and boat information to any person who has been injured, and to the owner of any property that was damaged.

Boat operators are required to report boat accident to the Division of Natural Resources if the accident results in:

  • The death of any person
  • The accident results in a reportable injury
  • There is property damage totalling more than $500

Accidents resulting in a death must be reported within 48 hours. All other reporting accidents must be reported within 5 days. Accident report forms must be submitted to:

The Division of Natural Resources, Motorboat Safety Section,
324 4th Avenue,
South Charleston, West Virginia
25303-1228

WEST VIRGINIA DIVISION OF NATURAL RESOURCES CONTACT INFORMATION

The BOATsmart! Course has been approved by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. For more information about safe boating in West Virginia, contact the Department at:

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
(304) 558-2754
Fourth Ave South Carleston, WV
25303
http://www.wvdnr.gov/main.shtm

You Might Also Like

LET'S WORK TOGETHER

 

Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

CAMPFIRE STORIES

 

Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.