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Do You Need a License to Rent a Boat?


driving a boat with a license

You won't need a license to rent a boat that already has a captain. However, a license will be needed if you want to rent a bareboat (without a captain, you will be driving).


When you search for a boat rental you can use the filters to select one of these options:

  • Captain included. If you choose a captained boat rental, you won’t need a license. You just show up at the marina, get on board, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

  • Bareboat. A captain is not included in the rental and also not available for hire. You will be responsible for driving the boat and to make sure you are not breaking any laws.

Boating license and age requirements vary from state to state and country to country. In order to be covered by insurance, Please review the rules and regulations of the US state or country you're in to make sure you are operating in accordance with the law.


For U.S. residents, please check state requirements and laws regarding license and/or certification. For any other location in the world, check with the appropriate authorities in your respective country.


Once you've determined your eligibility to rent a bareboat, make sure that you also have the necessary certifications needed to drive your boat rental.


*content adapted from Sailo.com

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