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Perry & Neblett P.A.
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Personal Watercraft Law

Each person operating, riding on, or being towed behind a personal watercraft must wear an approved non-inflatable Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device. Inflatable personal flotation devices are prohibited.

The operator of a personal watercraft must attach the engine cutoff switch lanyard (if equipped by the manufacturer) to his/her person, clothing, or PFD.

Personal watercraft may not be operated from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.

Maneuvering a personal watercraft by weaving through congested vessel traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably close or when visibility around the vessel is obstructed, or swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision is classified as reckless operation of a vessel (a first-degree misdemeanor).

A person must be at least 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft in this state.

A person must be at least 18 years of age to rent a personal watercraft in this state.

It is unlawful for a person to knowingly allow a person under 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft (a second-degree misdemeanor).

Anyone 21 years of age or younger, is required to either have successfully completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating education course or have passed a course equivalency or temporary certificate examination and have in their possession a boating education ID card and a photo identification card before operating a vessel with a motor of 10 HP or more in Florida. Identification cards for persons completing the course or the equivalency exam are good for a life time. Temporary Certificate exams are made available to the public through contractors. The temporary certificate is valid for a period of 12 months from the issue date.