Registering Your Boat Or PWC

Who Can Operate a Boat

Those less than 12 years of age:

  • May not legally operate a Class 1, 2, or 3 boat or a Class A boat powered by a motor of more than 30 horsepower
  • May legally operate a Class A boat which is either non-motorized or powered by a motor of 30 horsepower or less only if they are accompanied by a competent adult

Those 12 through 15 years of age:

  • May legally operate any Class A vessel or PWC only if they:
    - Have passed a boating safety course approved by the Department of Natural Resources
    - Are accompanied by a competent adult
  • May not legally operate any Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 vessels.

Those 16 years of age or older:

  • May operate any boat on the waters of Georgia if they have proper identification onboard
  • All operators born after January 1, 1998 must have passed a boater education course approved by the Department of Natural Resources and have card on board to operate any vessel.

"Competent Adult" means a person of age 18 or older who is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and who is carrying proper identification.

"Proper Identification" means a drivers license (or legible copy) or any other government issued identification that contains a description of the person, a photograph and birthdate.


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