Sheriff Department

Recreational Safety Programs

Michigan now offers two online boating safety classes and Exam without taking a proctored exam. There is a fee for these classes and they are available at the following links:

Minimum Age for Motorboat Operators

Boaters under 16 years of age must meet certain requirements before they can legally operate a boat with a motor larger than 6 horsepower:

These requirements are:

  • Under 12 years of age - must be directly supervised by someone 16 years old or older. The Boat must not have a power motor totaling more than 35 horse power.
  • 12-16 years of age - must possess a boating safety course certificate or be directly supervised by someone at least 16 years of age.
  • The boating safety certificate must be carried and presented upon the demand of the peace officer.

Personal Watercraft Regulations

  • A person under the age of 16 shall not operate a personal watercraft (Wave Runner and Jet Ski) in the state of Michigan.
  • A person who is 12 or more and less than 16 years of age may use a personal watercraft on the waters of the state of Michigan if all of the following circumstances exist:
    • The person is accompanied solely by the person's parent or legal guardian.

    • Both the person and the parent or legal guardian have obtained a boating safety certificate.

    • The personal watercraft is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch and the parent of legal guardian has the lanyard attached to his or her person, clothing, or personal flotation device.

    • The personal watercraft is designed to carry not less than 2 persons.

  • Those 16 years of age or older:
    • A person born after December 31, 1978, may operate a PWC only if he or she has obtained a boating safety certificate.

    • Those born December 31, 1978, or earlier may operate a PWC without restrictions.

Boaters Safety Class

No classes are scheduled at this time.

ORV Class

No classes are scheduled at this time.

Snowmobile Safety Classes

No classes are scheduled at this time.