Senate sends watercraft rentals bill to House

State senators Thursday morning sent the House a bill giving out-of-state visitors a one-time pass from the state’s boating safety laws.

“There are people who come from states that don’t have a boater safety license,” state Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, explained. “So, the underlying bill allows marinas to rent — one time in a customer’s lifetime — a seven-day license for them to rent a personal watercraft (or boat) to someone from outside of the state.”

Missouri law requires anyone born since Jan. 1, 1984, to complete a boater education course and carry a certification card that they passed it.

The state also will honor the boater safety certifications issued by other states, if they were approved by National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

But, under the current law, people under 28 who haven’t passed a safety course are not supposed to operate a boat on lakes in Missouri.

A frequently asked questions list on the Water Patrol Division’s web page,, explains boater education cards are not required on “the rivers, streams and all private waters; however, we recommend taking a boater education course prior to operating any vessel on the water for your own safety.”

Kehoe told fellow senators this week: “Many of our surrounding states — in fact, 47 states in the Union — have boater safety laws.

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