Boating Laws
Boating Law and Boaters Education 

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Boat Laws

IDAHO  Boating Laws and Safety Guides


Idaho Boating Laws are administered by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation  Additional rules and regulations may apply in various counties. Know the law. Idaho is truly a boater's paradise. There are over 16,000 miles of rivers and more than 2,000 lakes and reservoirs within the state's borders. It is often called "The Whitewater State" (unofficially).  Idaho is a river-runner's dream.

Basic Idaho Boating Laws

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation offers free brochures and the "Boat Idaho: Your Guide to Responsible Boating" home study workbook to the general public, a video library for safety and boating presenters, and other teaching curriculum for use in public schools at both the elementary and secondary level. 

 - To view an electronic copy of the Idaho Safe Boating Act, click here.
Boating License Requirements

 While there is yet no state law requiring a minimum age or proficiency exam, some counties are adopting such laws for their local waterways. Be sure to contact the county where you plan to ride. Click Here for a list of County age restrictions.

Jet Ski Rules

Idaho has designated a 100-foot "no-wake zone" from all docks, structures and persons in the water on public waters statewide. Often, local agencies such as Benewah County, Kootenai County or McCall City pass additional speed restrictions from the shoreline, between boats and at specific sites. It is a good idea to contact local organizations where you plan to ride.

There are exemptions when pulling a water skier. Unless otherwise marked, it is ok to travel over a no-wake zone within 100 feet from the dock or person in the water when safely pulling a water skier straight out from a dock, or when safely dropping off a water skier back to a dock, or when the "other person in the water" is the vessel's skier.

Boat Registration

Boats that do NOT have to be numbered or registered include boats propelled manually (rafts, kayaks, canoes, etc., without a motor) sailboards, documented vessels, float tubes and boats properly numbered and registered in another state which are using Idaho waters for 60 consecutive days or less.  

It is illegal for the owner or person in control of a motorboat to allow someone who does not meet the age or boating education requirements to operate the vessel.   

Out of State Boats

Boats properly numbered and registered in another state which are using Idaho waters for 60 consecutive days or less do not have to be registered.

Boating Safety Guide Boaters Education and Boat Safety