Indiana Boating Laws and Regulations |


Age and operator restrictions

No one under the age of 15 can legally operate a motorboat over 10 HP or a personal watercraft.

Boaters age 15 may operate a motorboat or personal watercraft until they obtain a driver’s license only if they complete a boater’s education course approved by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and have on board an identification card issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. (BMV).

A person who has never been licensed by the BMV must successfully complete an approved boater training course and have on board Indiana BMV-issued identification to legally operate a powerboat.

All other powerboat or personal watercraft operators must have a valid driver’s license to operate on all Indiana public waters.


Indiana law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and enjoyable. Cooperate with them by following the laws and guidelines.

Carry the Card: Operators of vessels that are required to have a boater training card must carry this card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by a law enforcement officer.


If you don’t carry your boater’s education card when required, you could be fined.


For visiting boaters, all states, territories and provinces will recognize Boating Education Cards that meet NASBLA requirements and Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Cards that meet Transport Canada requirements. (This is known as “reciprocity”.)


Comments are closed.