Jet Ski and Boating Regulations in Texas

PWC Safety Regulations - Texas

In the state of Texas, children under the age of 13 are not allowed to operate a personal watercraft alone; and must be accompanied by a person at least 18 years of age on board.

For those between 13 and 18 years, it is required they have completed and passed a boater education class by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

No one is to operate a PWC between sunset and sunrise or within 50 feet of another PWC, boat, platform, shore, object or person except at a speed which will not make wakes or swells.

Life jackets are mandatory and inflatable PFD are not acceptable when operating a PWC. Knowing the rules and following them will help to keep everyone safe and enjoying the PWC.

Texas Boating License Age

In Texas, in order to operate a motorboat, a windblown vessel or a PWC, an operator must meet the following requirements:

  • The operator is at least 13 years of age; and
  • The operator has passed a safety course approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD).

If the operator is younger than 13 years of age, he or she may only operate the vessel if:

  • The operator is supervised by an adult at least 18 years of age; and
  • The supervisor has passed a safety course approved by the TPWD; and
  • The supervisor in on the vessel while it is underway.

Life Jacket Requirements in Texas

All Texas water vessels are required to have United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board. The amount and types of PFDs required depends on the type of vessel and the number of passengers. You can find a guide for PFD requirements on the TPWD website.