If you drive a recreational boat powered by a motor (including dingys and personal watercraft like Jet Skis or Sea-Doos), you need to earn the Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) card and carry it with you on board at all times. This federal regulation affects all operators of any age or any size powerboat.

How to get carded

You earn the PCO card by scoring 75% on a 50 question multiple-choice test of basic boating safety knowledge. Or you can take the BOAT Study Guide home and take the test when you're ready. The Pleasure Craft Operator card is good for life and must be carried at all times while operating a powerboat.


Pleasure Craft Operator Card

Power restrictions for youth

Under federal regulations, youth under 16 years of age may not operate boats above certain power limits unless accompanied in the boat and directly supervised by someone 16 years or older:


Under 12 years: Maximum power 10 hp (unaccompanied).

12-16 years: Maximum power 40 hp (unaccompanied).

Under 16 years: May not operate personal watercraft, accompanied or not.

Boating safety

Information about boating safety is available in the Who's Drowning section of this website.