When you think of Texas, you probably imagine country music, delicious barbeques, huge farms, and scorching summers. However, not many people talk about the boating life in Texas, which is undoubtedly bigger, just like everything else is in the Lone Star state with thousands of lakes and rivers, and hundreds of miles of shoreline boarding the Gulf of Mexico.
However, before you can set sail with your buddies on your newly-bought boat to catch some Largemouth bass or go scuba diving, you need to check out the state’s Boating laws to ensure you’re legally operating your watercraft since you might be required to get a Texas Boating License depending on your age.
In this post, we’ll share an overview of the boating laws everything you need to know about getting a boating license in Texas.
Texas Boating Laws
Each state has its requirements for legally operating a personal watercraft on the waters (rivers, oceans, lakes, etc.) in its jurisdiction. The state of Texas is no different and requires boat owners to get a boating safety and education certificate. However, it also requires anyone born on or after September 1, 1993, to obtain a Texas boating license to operate any watercraft measuring over 14 feet or containing a motor with more than 15 horsepower on public waters.
Anyone born before this is exempt from this rule. Moreover, kids ages 13 and older can legally operate a boat under adult supervision. However, the adult must either possess a license or be old enough to be exempted from the requirement.
Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Boating License in Texas
The first thing you need to do about getting a Texas boating license is know where to get one. You can choose to take an approved classroom which is usually taught by a US Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power Squadron, or a trained volunteer. You can also opt for an online course on Boat-Ed.com or BoaterExam.com. Since a third party administers these courses, they usually carry a fee between $29 and $50.
However, you can opt for the BoatUS Foundation’s free boating course, available in Texas and 34 other states. Whichever route you take, you have to study for the Texas Boating Safety Certificate course and pass the final exam. Once you’ve done that, you can print it immediately and head straight to your stationary or floating dock and get on your boat. Your permanent card will be available for download later on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s official site.
Now that you know how to get a boating license in Texas, you’re one step closer to legally operating a powerboat. At EZ Dock Texas, we aim to educate our clients and readers about the different ways they can optimize their boating experience, and getting a boating license means that boat owners have to learn about boating safety and other topics, which can come in handy in different ways. We also provide a host of docking accessories and solutions for first-time boat owners, so they take better care of their vessels from the first day.
For more information regarding our full range of products, including stationary or floating docks, feel free to visit our website or call (800) 654-8168.