Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided to the following questions are the quick answers that apply to most circumstances. For more detailed information, please consult the "ABCs of the California Boating Law" or the actual text of the 2012 California Boating Law.

Do I have to register my boat?

How do I display the boat registration stickers and numbers?

Do I need a license to operate a boat?

Do I have to have boater's insurance?

How old do you have to be to operate a boat?

Are two-stroke engines going to be “outlawed” soon?

How do I get the carbon monoxide decals that are required by law?

What is the law for wearing a life jacket?

Can I rent or borrow life jackets for my family and myself?

Can I get a life jacket to fit my baby?

Is it a good idea to take my infant boating?

A judge has ordered me to take a boating safety course. What should I do?

Where can I take a boating safety class?

Is it legal to drink while boating?

Is there a speed limit for boats?

What safety equipment must I have on my boat or Personal Watercraft (PWC)?

What are the rules for operating a Personal Watercraft (PWC), such as a jet ski?

Am I required by law to install a kill switch on a personal watercraft (PWC)?

How do I find out if a boat is stolen?

How and when do I report a boating accident?

What steps do I need to take to get rid of an abandoned vessel?

How can I get free boating publications?

Can someone present information on boating and water safety to our school/safety fair/event?