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Boater education requirement takes effect July 1

With winter in full swing, boaters’ minds are likely on shoveling snow from recent snowstorms and far from warm days spent on the water with friends and family. However, there is an important date approaching for all boat operators in Virginia.

On July 1, all boat operators, regardless of age, who operate a motorboat with a motor greater than 10hp will be required to complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boater safety course, unless they are exempt from taking the course, according to a release from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

In 2007, the General Assembly enacted a law to establish a boating safety education compliance requirement. The requirement for boating safety education was phased in over several years and applies to all Personal Watercraft operators and operators of boats with motors of 10hp or greater. Currently all PWC operators and motorboat operators 50 years of age and younger are required to...

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