In Wyoming, a boating license is not required by boaters of any age to operate a recreational water vessel in the state. Although the process for how to get a boating license does not apply to WY residents, the Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD) does encourage all residents to take an education program for boaters before operating a boat. All residents must meet the state’s age requirement in order to legally operate a water vessel in the state.

Wyoming residents can take an online boating license course to learn more about boating best practices and safety standards. The WGFD offers a list of supported courses to interested residents. Some courses can be enrolled in free of charge, while others carry a fixed fee. All water vessels meeting certain requirements must be registered and titled in Wyoming to be legally driven on state waterways. Read on to learn more about boating with a variety of water vessels in Wyoming.

Do you need a license to drive a boat in Wyoming?

A boat certification is not needed by boat boaters of any age to operate a water vessel in Wyoming. However, the minimum boating license age to legally drive a boat is 16 years of age.

No boater younger than 16 years of age can independently operate applicable types of motorized water vessels or personal watercraft (PWCs) anywhere in Wyoming. Minors who are 16 or 17 years old can operate a boat under the direct supervision of an adult, much like learners permit holders are allowed to drive with a licensed driver supervising them.

Wyoming Boat License Requirements

The only requirement for getting a boat license or having the permission to operate a water vessel or PWC in Wyoming is meeting the age requirement stated above. Boat boaters must be 16 years of age to operate a water vessel in Wyoming.

Getting a Boat License in Wyoming

Submitting an application and passing a boater exam is not required for boat boaters operating in Wyoming. While the DNR encourages boaters to take a boaters safety course before operating a motorized boat or a PWC, it is not required. Only boaters of special types of water vessels need to look into state licensing.

Wyoming Boater Safety Courses

Wyoming residents can choose to enroll in a boating education program to learn the basics of operating water vessels. Boaters can sign up for an online boaters safety course that is certified by the DNR to learn both about safety standards and state-specific rules and regulations.

The state promotes at least three different online boating course programs for boaters to choose from. If desired, WY boaters may also be able to find a classroom-based program that teaches basic boating principles in person.

Wyoming Boat Registration Basics

In Wyoming, boaters must apply for a boat registration for any water vessel with a motor, whether gas or electric. Within the registration process, a boat title must also be applied for to designate the owner of the boat. Upon submitting the complete registration and title applications, the boater will receive boat registration stickers that must be attached to his or her water vessel in the appropriate area to demonstrate that the vessel is current on all state obligations.

Boaters who do not complete the necessary DMV boat registration will face penalties similar to those caught driving a motor vehicle without the necessary documentation. Applications for registration and titling are accepted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department along with the necessary application fee and identifying information. Owners of water vessels can choose to purchase a registration card that is valid either one or three years.

Wyoming Boating Rules and Regulations

Boating regulations for owners of water vessels in Wyoming are designed to keep boaters, swimmers and others enjoying state waterways safe at all times. Wyoming boat requirements state what equipment all water vessels must carry in order to be up to standard and safe to operate, such as Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) and emergency signaling systems.

Boat boaters who do not adhere to state boat laws will face legal consequences that could include criminal charges for serious offenses. Boats are divided into classes in Wyoming according to the following definitions:

  • Class A: Less than 16 feet in length
  • Class B: 16 to <26 feet in length
  • Class C: 26 to <40 feet in length
  • Class D: 40 feet or more in length

In boating school, WY boaters can learn all about the rules and regulations governing the state’s waterways. Some important Wyoming boating rules that all operators of water vessels should remember include:

  • Boating under the influence is illegal in Wyoming. Boaters found to be operating a boat while intoxicated will face criminal penalties akin to driving a car while under the influence.
  • All water vessels must have at least one wearable, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)-approved life jacket on board for every person on the boat at all times.
  • All life jackets must fit appropriately according to the age, weight and activity of expected occupants and be in proper, usable condition.
  • All Class B, C and D water vessels must have at least one throwable USCG-approved personal flotation device.
  • All boat passengers of any age aboard any type of personal watercraft (PWC) must wear a life jacket at all times.
  • Passengers on all water vessels who are 12 years of age or younger must wear an USCG-approved life jacket at all times when the boat is in motion.
  • It is strictly prohibited to fail to obey buoys or other water markers.
  • All motorboats, houseboats and some other categories of water vessels must have a proper fire extinguisher on board.
  • All motorized watercraft and sailboats must display red and green combined lantern in the front of the boat and a white light aft from sunset to sunrise, visible 360 degrees when in motion.
  • All motorized water vessels must have a suitable sound-producing system on board to signal for help in the case of an emergency.

Wyoming Boating License and Education Fees

Boaters who would like to enroll in state-approved boating lessons can do so online by paying the necessary application fee. The average cost of a course is about $30, though students can usually find a completely free course that is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.