79A.60.630  <<  79A.60.640 >>   79A.60.650

Requirements to operate motor driven boats/vesselsExemptionsPenalty.

(1) No person shall operate or permit the operation of motor driven boats and vessels with a mechanical power of fifteen horsepower or greater unless the person:
(a) Is at least twelve years of age, except that an operator of a personal watercraft shall comply with the age requirements under RCW 79A.60.190; and
(b)(i) Has in his or her possession a boater education card, unless exempted under subsection (3) of this section; or
(ii) Is accompanied by and is under the direct supervision of a person sixteen years of age or older who is in possession of a boater education card, or who is not yet required to possess the card as provided in the program phase in RCW 79A.60.630(2)(a).
(2) Any person who can demonstrate they have successfully completed, prior to July 24, 2005, a boating safety education course substantially equivalent to the standards adopted by the commission shall be eligible for a boater education card upon application to the commission and payment of the fee, without having to take a course or equivalency exam as provided in RCW 79A.60.630(1). Successful completion of a boating safety education course could include an original or copy of an original certificate issued by the commission, the United States coast guard auxiliary, or the United States power squadrons, or official certification by these organizations that the individual successfully completed a course substantially equivalent to the standards adopted by the commission.
(3) The following persons are not required to carry a boater education card:
(a) The operator of a vessel engaged in a lawful commercial fishery operation as licensed by the department of fish and wildlife under Title 77 RCW. However, the person when operating a vessel for recreational purposes must carry either a valid commercial fishing license issued by the department of fish and wildlife or a boater education card;
(b) Any person who possesses a valid marine operator license issued by the United States coast guard when operating a vessel authorized by such coast guard license. However, the person when operating a vessel for recreational purposes must carry either a valid marine operator license issued by the United States coast guard or a boater education card;
(c) Any person who is legally engaged in the operation of a vessel that is exempt from vessel registration requirements under chapter 88.02 RCW and applicable rules and is used for purposes of law enforcement or official government work. However, the person when operating a vessel for recreational purposes must carry a boater education card;
(d) Any person at least twelve years old renting, chartering, or leasing a motor driven boat or vessel with an engine power of fifteen horsepower or greater who completes a commission-approved motor vessel safety operating and equipment checklist each time before operating the motor driven boat or vessel, except that an operator of a personal watercraft shall comply with the age requirements under RCW 79A.60.190;
(e) Any person who is not a resident of Washington state and who does not operate a motor driven boat or vessel with an engine power of fifteen horsepower or greater in waters of the state for more than sixty consecutive days;
(f) Any person who is not a resident of Washington state and who holds a current out-of-state or out-of-country certificate or card that is equivalent to the rules adopted by the commission;
(g) Any person who has purchased the boat or vessel within the last sixty days, and has a bill of sale in his or her possession to document the date of purchase;
(h) Any person, including those less than twelve years of age, who is involved in practicing for, or engaging in, a permitted racing event where a valid document has been issued by the appropriate local, state, or federal government agency for the event, and is available for inspection on-site during the racing event;
(i) Any person who is not yet required to have a boater education card under the phased schedule in RCW 79A.60.630(2)(a); and
(j) Any person born before January 1, 1955.
(4) Except as provided in subsection (3)(a) through (i) of this section, a boater must carry a boater education card while operating a vessel and is required to present the boater education card, or alternative license as provided in subsection (3)(a) and (b) of this section, to a law enforcement officer upon request.
(5) Failure to possess a boater education card required by this section is an infraction under chapter 7.84 RCW. The penalty shall be waived if the boater provides proof to the court within sixty days that he or she has received a boater education card.
(6) No person shall permit the rental, charter, or lease of a motor driven boat or vessel with an engine power of fifteen horsepower or greater to a person without first reviewing with that person, and all other persons who may be permitted by the person to operate the vessel, all the information contained in the motor vessel safety operating and equipment checklist.

NOTES:

Intent2005 c 392: See note following RCW 79A.60.630.
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