West Virginia Boating Laws

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As the boating season comes to a close in West Virginia, it’s important to take precautions for next year to ensure that new boaters are aware of the rules of the state regarding safe boating operation. According to the State of West Virginia, the following regulations must be followed in order to operate a boat on waters within the state:

1. Anyone born after December 31, 1986 must complete a boating education course before they can operate a motorboat or personal watercraft in West Virginia.

2. Operators must satisfactorily complete a state-approved boating course or a course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

3. Boat operators must present their class completion certificate upon request made by a West Virginia Conservation Officer or any other law enforcement officer qualified to make such a request.

4. You must be 15 years of age or older to operate a boat in West Virginia, although children ages 12 to 15 are allowed to operate a watercraft under the direct supervision of an adult. Children from 12-15 years in age who operate boats with motors less than 10 horsepower (hp) do not need direct supervision of adults. No operators are allowed under the age of 12.

Boating regulations are put in place to safeguard you and your loved ones while enjoying recreational activities on West Virginia’s numerous waterways. If you have been injured in a boating accident through the fault of another operator, it is crucial that you seek legal representation for your case. You may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and time lost from work.