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New Boating Regulations

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Press Release

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and other law enforcement agencies throughout state are out to alert Floridians to new laws and enhancements to existing laws that deal with boating under the influence, boating safety education, waterway markers, possession of gasoline on a vessel and destruction of coral.

The enhanced penalty for BUI is the same as it is for driving under the influence. The blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.20 that was a violation in the past has changed to 0.15.


Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, any boater born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 will be required to take an approved boating safety course and possess an FWC-issued boating safety identification card. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 and purchases a boat will have 90 days from the purchase date to obtain a boating safety identification card.

Another prohibited activity is placement and use of a waterway marker that does not conform to the U.S. Aids to Navigation System and does not have an FWC permit. It’s also unlawful for boaters to moor to government-placed waterway markers or lawfully placed waterway markers except in emergency situations or with written consent of the marker’s owner.

Also, it is illegal to possess or operate a vessel with nonconforming or unapproved gasoline containers or to transport gasoline in an unventilated or improperly ventilated compartment.

Laws regarding titling, numbering and registration now apply to any vessel operated, used or stored on state waters except vessels lawfully stored at a dock or marina.

Boaters who damage coral reefs are required to notify the Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, boaters who damage coral reefs are required to cooperate with that department to remove their vessels and to assess and restore the coral reef.

To learn more about Florida’s boating requirements, visit MyFWC.com/Boating