Boat safe with the Jobbie Crew
Boat safe with the Jobbie Crew

The Jobbie Crew is dedicated to everyone coming home alive, every time. Starting this year we are going to start our own safety series including a way to “Ask the Captian” if you have specific questions related to boating safety that you want to be explained. These laws primarily apply to Michigan and are more geared towards Lake St Clair. Ultimately you are responsible for knowing the laws where you boat at! A knowledgeable captain is a safe captain! Ask the Captain your questions here

This weeks lesson – Who needs a boater safety certificate?

While it’s true you do not need a drivers license to own or drive a boat everyone is responsible for knowing the laws! 

Who may operate a boat?

Anyone born after July 1st, 1996 must have in there possession a boating safety certificate if they are driving a boat

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Those less than 12 years of age:

  • May operate a boat powered by a motor of no more than
    6 horsepower (hp) legally without restrictions.
  • May operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 6 hp but no more than 35 hp legally only if they:
    • Have been issued a boating safety certificate and have it
      on board the boat and…
    • Are directly supervised on board by a person at least 16
      years of age.
  • May not operate a boat powered
    by a motor of more than 35 hp
    legally under any conditions
  • Those born before July 1, 1996,
    may operate a boat legally without
    restrictions.

Who may operate a personal watercraft (PWC)?

  • Those less than 14 years of age may not legally operate a PWC.

  • Those 14 and 15 years of age may operate a PWC legally only if they have obtained a boating safety certificate and…
    • He or she is accompanied on board by his or her parent or legal guardian or by a person at least 21 years of age who has been designated by the parent or legal guardian or…
    • He or she is operating or riding the PWC at a distance of not more than 100 feet from his or her parent or legal guardian or from a person at least 21 years of age who has been designated by the parent or legal guardian.
  • Those at least 16 years of age and born after December 31, 1978, may operate a PWC legally only if they have obtained a boating safety certificate.
  • Those born on or before December 31, 1978, may operate a PWC legally without restrictions.

So know you know the law? How do I get my boating
safety certificate?

We did talk to the Macomb County Sheriff and they told us the following:

The course must be National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved. That will be printed right on the certificate. Your niece must have taken a course that was not NASBLA approved.

People interested can take a free course offered my Macomb Sheriff’s Marine Division at the Sheriff’s Office in Mt. Clemens. They can find course dates and sign up for the course by calling the Marine Division (Monday thru Friday 8am – 4pm) at 586-469-5803. Or they can take an on-line course at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

The course is done online and you have a choice of two different providers (At this time both are $30). Simply complete the course and take the test and print out your certificate!

Boater Exam

Boat Ed

The DNR’s Recreational Safety Education Class Database offers information on where classes are held by selecting the class type (marine) and county in the drop-down lists.

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