How old do you have to be to operate a motorboat in Wyoming?

WYOMING — Wyoming lakes and reservoirs are popular for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors, fishing and boating. With so many people using Wyoming’s waters, it is important for everyone to keep boating safety in mind.

One question Wyoming Game and Fish often gets this time of year is, “How old do you have to be to operate a boat?”

In Wyoming, the age a person is allowed to operate a motorboat and non-motorized watercraft are different.

Green River Game Warden Jake Brown

A motorboat is any watercraft propelled in any respect by propulsion machinery powered by an energy source other than human effort. To legally operate a motorboat, the operator must be at least 16 years old. A person under the age of 16 may operate a motorboat as long as they are accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old.

“The term ‘accompanied by an adult’ means that an adult is also physically in or aboard the motorized watercraft and is responsible for the operation of the watercraft. There is no age restriction to operate a non-motorized watercraft, like a canoe, kayak or raft,” says Green River Game Warden Jake Brown.

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