Missouri Boating Laws

Boater Education; anyone born after 1/1/1984, who wants to operate a vessel on the lakes of Missouri, must have successfully completed a certified boating safety course and carry proof of successful completion.

To take the required boater education course please visit: http://www.boat-ed.com/Missouri/index.html.

1. Life jackets must be accessible for every person on board a watercraft. Children under the age of seven must wear a life jacket at all times while on board a watercraft.
All persons must wear a life jacket when on a PWC.

2. Navigation lights are required on all boats underway between sunset and sunrise.

3. Proper ventilation is required of every vessel.

4. Fire extinguishers are required equipment on all motorized watercraft carrying or using flammable or toxic fluid such as gasoline or propane.

5. Registration is required of all motorized watercraft regardless of horsepower; all sailboats twelve feet and over in length are required to be registered.

6. The operator of any boat being used for towing a person on water skis, inner tube or similar device must have another person aboard the vessel, seated in a position so as to observe the progress of the person or persons being towed unless the vessel is equipped with a ski mirror approved by the Missouri State Water Patrol, mounted so that the progress of the skier can be observed by the operator. An orange or red skier down flag must be displayed any time people are in the water. PWCs and moored or anchored boats are exempt from displaying the flag.

7. Riding on the bow, gunwales, railing, top of seat back and decking over the back of a motorboat is prohibited.

 8. All marker buoys, such as No Wake buoys, apply to all motorized vessels, including all personal watercraft.

9. Operating a boat while intoxicated is a state offense, subject to a $5,000 fine and 1-5 years in jail, for a felony conviction.

Boating handbooks are available at:
Any Missouri Department of Revenue License Bureau
The Missouri State Water Patrol (573) 751-3333
Online at http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/WaterPatrol/index.html


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