A new portion of the Virginia Boating Education Law will take effect soon. Beginning July 1, all personal watercraft operators must have completed a boating safety class, according to BoatUS.
It’s just one element of a law the Virginia legislature passed in 2007 that is being phased in for different age groups during a period of eight years. The requirement currently applies to people 50 years old and younger.
Also as of July 1, boat operators age 30 and younger will be required to have passed a boating safety course. That law currently applies to boat operators 20 and younger. The law raises that age in increments during the next four years. All ages will have to be compliant by 2016.
Operators can opt out of the class by passing an equivalency exam to satisfy the requirement, according to Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP. Maryland requires boaters born on or after July 1, 1972, to take a safety course, according to the radio station.
Maryland also bars anyone under 16 from operating a personal watercraft, such as a Jet Ski. Virginia bars anyone under 14 from operating one.
Washington, D.C., requires any motorized vessel operator to have a safety certificate.
In all three jurisdictions boaters are expected to carry the certificate with them as proof of course completion.