If you are one of the unfortunate fellows to live in one of the four states which require a license, there are a few steps that lead to you getting on the water. There are different requirements for each state, but we’ll get into them here so you know how to get on the water and enjoy it.
For the Alabama Yellowhammers, boat-lovers that were 40 years old by April 28, 1994 do not need a license. Otherwise, the first step is to register your boat. If you just bought a new one, it must be registered within 72 hours while a currently registered used boat must be registered within 15 days. After completing the registration application, you must find a previous registration and bill of sale. Without that, you must need an affidavit with the purchase price depending on which county you reside. The next step is to gather the money needed for the registration fee which depending on the length of your boat can extend from $18 to $98. Visit your local probate judge’s office or the license commissioner’s office and obtain a boating certificate. Once that is taken care of, you need to take a course. There are a few ways to do this: you can take one by an approved third-party provider, taking one from the U.S. Coastguard, or taking a written one at the DMV.
If you are a resident of Delaware, the same steps apply except the registration fee can range from $10 to $180 depending on the length of the boat and the time span of registration (which can be chosen between 1 and 3 years). You can always renew your registration online by just sending in your payment information. The difference between the two states is that in Delaware, if you own a water craft of any kind, you must register it even if it is a tiny jet ski. However, if you were born any time before January 1, 1978, you are exempt from doing any of this.
In Georgia, a license is required for anyone between 12 and 15 years old driving a boat. If you’re in that boat, you must have an adult accompany you unless you are 13-15 years old, then you can operate a boat less than 16 ft. long with a class A license. If you are 13-15 years of age, you must also complete a boating safety course before you can obtain that class A license.
If you are a Mississippi resident and you were born after June 29, 1980, you must obtain a license. Though, in this state, it is called a Boater Education Card indicating that you mastered a safety course. In order to obtain it, you must take a safety course that is a minimum of 6 hours as well as pass the exam afterward with an 80% or higher. After that, you can print a temporary card and get a permanent one in a few weeks.
None of these states require boating insurance, but of course, they all do recommend it. They all require you to be at least 12 years old however, and without a license, some need you to have an adult present. If you are an avid boater in one of these states, good luck getting your license.