Even though you have a wealth of boating opportunities within Florida, there are times when you might want to experience boating options in another state. Before you load your vessel and prepare to hit the road for new adventures, there are some things you’ll need to consider.
Their State, Their Rules
Every state has the right to establish its own rules in regard to watercraft of every size and scope. Whether you’re able to legally operate your craft in another state will depend on a variety of elements encompassing:
- The state
- Operator’s age
- Type of vessel
- Engine size
- If it’s owned or rented
- Length of stay
- If the craft will be used in towed water sports
As a Florida boat owner, you’re required to complete boating education classes, but the certification you receive isn’t a license. It simply gives you the right to operate a boat in the state in which it was issued. The good news is that some states practice reciprocity, meaning that states will accept the certifications established in your home state of Florida.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every state. The National Association of State Boating Law Administration (NASBLA) strongly suggests that anyone that may cross state jurisdictional lines on the water or is transporting a boat across state lines perform due diligence. Research the marine laws in the state to which you’re bound.
Navigating the Waters of Certification
Since not every state practices reciprocity and laws vary so widely, you’ll need to provide some type of proof you’ve passed Florida’s boating certification course if reciprocity is in play – and even that may not be sufficient. However, some states will accept documentation with the NASBLA seal as sufficient and consider operators to be in compliance with applicable requirements.
The bottom line is that you’ll need to diligently research the requirements in your destination state. Doing so will ensure compliance and that you’ll be operating your vessel during a fun-filled vacation.
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The Sena Group
6501 Congress Ave., Ste. 100
Boca Raton, FL 33487