Do you need a boating license in Louisiana?

Home » FAQs » Do you need a boating license in Louisiana?

If you plan to operate a motorboat over 10 hp in Louisiana, you are required to obtain a boating license if you were born after January 1, 1984. Louisiana’s boating license course is held online, and you’ll need to be at least 10 years old to take it and receive your license, though you must be at least 16 years old to operate a personal watercraft. According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, you don’t have to be a resident of Louisiana to take the course and obtain your boating license.

If you don’t have a boating license, you could be subjected to a fine or other punishments. Make sure to have a valid Louisiana boating license before taking to the water in our state.

Even after you receive your boating license, you’re responsible for piloting watercraft responsibly. All of the following are considered careless operation of a vessel by the state of Louisiana, and can result in a fine of up to $300 or up to 30 days in jail.

  • Failure to keep to the right when passing another boat or when in a narrow channel
  • Failure to yield right-of-way, including slowing down, reversing, or altering course
  • Failure to hold course and speed when granted right-of-way
  • Abruptly changing course without consideration of the risks of collision with another vessel
  • Failing to properly warn other craft in foggy conditions or in poor visibility
  • Operating a mechanically propelled vessel around another vessel or someone swimming
  • Ignoring the consequences of the vessel’s wake on other craft
  • Drinking, abusing drugs, or otherwise failing to maintain control of the vessel
  • Speeding or blocking navigation to other craft
  • Failing to maintain a lookout

If you’ve been involved in a boating accident where the other operator was exhibiting one or more of the above signs, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. Call a dedicated maritime injury lawyer with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation today.