Is A Boating License Necessary In California?

You need a license to drive a car, fish, hunt, and do a few other things in California. But, do you need a license for boat rentals in Lewiston California? Is it possible for you to ride your boat without a license or an official document that shows you are authorized to do it? Read further and find out.

Boat Licensing in California

You do not need a boat license in California. But you need to have a California Boater Card. Since Jan. 1, 2018, a new law was enacted for all boaters to have a lifetime California Boater Card to show they are qualified to ride a boat. This card cost $10 and you have to take a special examination to qualify to take it. All persons 20 years and older are required to obtain a Boater Card and by the end of 2025, everyone should possess a Boater Card.

California Boater Card Requirement

The California State Laws have put in place some restrictions for boating.

These restrictions are:

  • For a boat with more than 15 horsepower capacity, the boater should be more than 16 years to ride it.
  • You should be more than 16 years to run a sailboat that is more than 30 feet in length.
  • If you are between 12 and 15 years old, you can only run a sailboat that is 30 or more feet with the supervision of an adult above 18 years of age.
  • You can operate a boat with less than 15 horsepower capacity and less than 30 feet long sailboat if you are 12 to 15 years old without any supervision.

The Boater Training Courses in California

The Boater Training course is available to everybody who wishes to take them. You can also take the course at After the successful completion of this course, you are issued with a Boater Card. Taking this course is important as statistics show that people who have undertaken the course are less likely to cause an accident. Ensure the course you intend to take is approved by the DMV. The boat insurance premiums are reduced if you undertake and pass this training exam. This is because it increases the safety of your boat operations. Insurers are confident that a trained person will cause fewer accidents. If you are convicted of any offense in regards to riding the boat, you are required to take mandatory training.

Do You Need A Boat Insurance?

If you are considering hiring a boat at Lewiston, California or buying a boat, the boat insurance coverage is a must-have. This helps you in repair in case of property damage or personal injury if you are involved in an accident. However, a liability insurance coverage is not necessary to drive a boat.

If you are interested in buying or hiring a boat in Lewiston, California, the Trinity Alps Marina is a family-owned business that offers a wide range of boating products and services.


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