The Virginia Senate will consider a bill the first of next week, House Bill 1627, that would require all motorboat and PWC operators to take a boating safety course and carry a certificate showing successful completion of a written test. This Statewide Boating Safety Education Bill has been amended to enforcement only on inland waters in Virginia.
HB 1627 would make it $100 civil penalty for anyone to operate a motorboat without having successfully completed an approved boating safety education course. The education requirement would be phased-in so that by July 1, 2016, all motorboat operators will have been required to complete and pass the course or an equivalency exam. The Board is directed to develop and administer the boating safety education program through the promulgation of regulations, taking into account comments from the public. There are a number of ways a person can comply with the law other than successfully completing an approved course, such as passing an equivalency examination, possessing a valid license issued to maritime personnel, being registered as a commercial fisherman, etc.
There are no licensing fees, annual renewals or hardships associated with this education bill.
You can view the entire bill at: