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Spring Breaker's Guide to FL Jet Ski Laws

It's SPRING BREAK! What better way to get your water fun on than by renting your own Jet Ski? Here are a few things you NEED TO KNOW about FL PWC Laws.

AGE aqua-14857_640 You have to be at least 18 years old to RENT a Personal Water Craft (PWC) in Florida and at least 14 years old to OPERATE a PWC in Florida. If you allow someone under the age of 14 to operate a PWC, you can face a 2 nd Degree Misdemeanor, meaning a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine. SAFETY Everyone operating, riding, or being towed MUST WEAR A LIFE JACKET. Inflatable life jackets do not meet this requirement. Additionally, the person operating the PWC must attach the engine cutoff switch lanyard to their person, clothing, or life jacket.

Be careful where and when you travel. Maneuvering a PWC by weaving through busy or congested vessel traffic, being too close and jumping the wake of another vessel or when visibility around the other vessel is obstructed, and/or swerving at the last possible moment to avoid a crash can get you arrested on a 1 st degree Misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. You can only operate a PWC from 30 minutes before Sunrise until 30 minutes after Sunset, even if you use navigation lights. Navigation lights are required by both Federal and State law from dusk until dawn.

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 is required to either have successfully completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating education course or have passed a course equivalency or temporary certificate examination and have in their possession a boating education ID card and a photo identification card before operating a vessel with a motor of 10 HP or more in Florida. Identification cards for persons completing the course or the equivalency exam are good for a lifetime. Temporary Certificate exams are made available to the public through contractors. The temporary certificate is valid for 12 months from the issue date. For more information about Florida Boating Laws, visit http://myfwc.com/boating/regulations/#nogo. If you need legal assistance for violating one of the PWC laws, call Colbert Law at (407) 705-3220!