Wisconsin Boater Education and You

What age do you have to be in order to operate personal watercraft in Wisconsin?

a. 12

b. 14

c. 16

d. 16 but younger with boater education

A and B may seem very young, perhaps even too young to be able to operate personal watercraft.  However, in states such as Pennsylvania and South Dakota, individuals only need to be 12 or 14, respectively, in order to operate personal watercraft.

The correct answer is D.  Individuals must be 16 to operate personal watercraft in Wisconsin, but can operate at younger ages if they have completed boater education.

Boaters at least 12 years old but less than 16 years old must complete boater education and obtain a Boating Card (not the same as a Boating License) in order to operate a motorboat.  Individuals in this age category can also only operate a boat or personal watercraft if they are accompanied by someone at least 18 years of age.

Individuals who wish to obtain their Boating Card can complete the Wisconsin Boat Course online at this site.  There is also a plethora of information available at that site regarding Wisconsin laws and regulations.

It is also a good idea to protect your boat or personal watercraft with a Wisconsin watercraft insurance policy.  Our agents at Community Insurance can build a plan with medical payments coverage, physical damage coverage, and/or liability coverage.  Contact us today to learn more!

Staying safe on the water is not something to take lightly.  Make sure your children are responsible and have them complete boater education before operating any watercraft.  


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