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-   -   CA pending Legislation: Vessel Operator Card (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=801149)

norcalrider 02-12-2014 9:36 AM

CA pending Legislation: Vessel Operator Card
FYI... Not applicable to most of us but your children?


February 04, 2014
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) and Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) introduced Senate Bill (SB) 941, to require an individual to pass a boating education examination and obtain a vessel operator card from the Division of Boating and Waterways in order to operate a boat in California.

“This legislation is needed to enhance the public’s safety on our state’s waterways and minimize the loss of life, personal injury, and property damage,” stated Senator Monning.

SB 941 will require the Division of Boating and Waterways to develop a vessel operator card and issue it to individuals who provide proof that they have passed an approved examination. Beginning on January 1, 2018, the requirement to possess a Division vessel operator card will apply to operators 20 years of age or younger with a staggered implementation date depending on the age of the individual until it eventually applies to everyone in 2025.

“Requiring first time boaters to pass a safety exam will save lives and decrease boating accidents,” Senator DeSaulnier said. “SB 941 brings California in line with boater safety requirements found in most other states. This bill will make California’s incredible waterways safer for all.”

California is one of six states that do not require individuals to take a boating safety course before operating a vessel. Senator Monning introduced the legislation after hearing from constituents that have been involved in accidents due to unsafe boaters that did not have the proper knowledge to operate a vessel.

SB 941 will be referred to a Senate policy committee for a hearing.

Link to bill language: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/...introduced.htm

fence_sence 02-12-2014 9:56 AM

I'm 100% for this. However, just like drivers liscences, it won't be stringent enough. I think everyone should have to have a full liscence to operate any craft.

boardman74 02-12-2014 9:57 AM

Most states already require boater safety training and a card as evidence. Surprised California doesn't with all their regulation.

Heck here the kids by 12 have to have firearms safety, snowmobile safety, boat safety, and ATV safety if they want to do those things.

seth 02-12-2014 11:09 AM


chillaxin 02-12-2014 11:20 AM


Originally Posted by seth (Post 1864665)

Seconded. I wish Idaho would do this. I hate more regulation just as much as the next guy but I get soooo tired of the people who buy their boats privately and go to the lake with no training whatsoever.

MIKEnNC 02-12-2014 11:52 AM

I wonder what other states don't require it

beleza 02-12-2014 12:04 PM

Utah doesn't require it as far as I know

Tallredrider 02-12-2014 12:31 PM

I was suprised to hear that only 6 states do not require such a thing.

Utah doesn't, and I am pretty sure my neighboring states in Nevada and Arizona don't. At least I am on those waters all the time without a license.

Jmorlan 02-12-2014 12:34 PM

CA pending Legislation: Vessel Operator Card
Nevada does, but only if you are born after a certain date. At least is what the sheriff told me in Tahoe when he stopped me to check if I had a "boater safety" card.
I had never heard of such a thing and had my jet skis for 2-3 years.

He wrote me a ticket and took my registration also. I didn't get it back until my day in court, where I had to bring proof that I got my boater card.
And I wasn't even riding the ski when he nabbed me. Also, dude didn't even let me take the ski back to the ramp to load it. Wanted me to grab some random person "either over the age of 34, or someone with a boater card"

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blackstang 02-12-2014 12:36 PM

Along with the written exam you should have to pass some type of drivers exam and the best part would be a boat launch and launch etiquette test! If you can't back your boat trailer up and launch it, you should not be allowed to operate a vessel.

TomH 02-12-2014 1:44 PM

The only regs for Minnesota is if you're under 18. I wouldn't be surprised if that changes in the near future though, as ATVs and snowmobiles all require a safety class if you're born after a certain date and you operate them on public land.

Wouldn't bother me if they did (wonder if my operator permit from when I was 13 would still be valid.......).

boardman74 02-12-2014 3:00 PM

Word is Minnesota will be changing this year or next to mirror what they have done for hunting, snowmobiling, and ATV's. I honestly thought it had already changed as it was on a bill last year. Must not have passed. The date will be anyone born after 12-31-1976 as with the other certifications.

TomH 02-12-2014 3:42 PM

It may have passed, but I didn't see anything on the DNR site, so I'm guessing if it did that it won't go in to effect this season.

phathom 02-12-2014 4:31 PM

I am definitely for this. I would have thought that California, of all places, being legislation and rule happy would have already done this.
Normally it's a one time course you can do, a lot of the time online, and then you get a card that says you have passed a test and know enough not to get killed. Applying it is a different matter, but at least you know everyone on the water has gone through some type of education and hopefully won't be a complete idiot.
I do think the "No Power Turns!!" Should be in there, it does say about no power loading though.

baitkiller 02-12-2014 7:55 PM

Florida has it. It was supposed to slow down the jet ski rental idiots. Not so much... the rental dudes have the whole process fast tracked, takes 10 minutes right on the beach.

wakebrdr94 02-12-2014 8:19 PM

They should just do it for everyone. Wouldn't hurt to take a refresher course.

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WakeDirt 02-12-2014 10:40 PM

I think you should pass a test and register to have children in this country too.

buzzardmountainz 02-13-2014 6:12 AM

A car drivers license doesn't prevent car wrecks or dumb a$$es driving cars. Just another tax...Just another reason to pull you over for a "fishing" expedition. All under the illusion of safety.

cadunkle 02-13-2014 6:41 AM

Just more government intervention into our lives, more taxes to support and enforce this and more predatory harassment for anyone boating in California as it's one more thing they can detain and search you for. Papers comrade...

Not that it's relevant, but every year I boat in states that have boater safety class requirements and a state that does not, the state that does not has safer boaters from my observation, even on crazy holiday weekends. Granted my experience is primarily on two lakes, a smaller less popular one but the other is arguably the most popular lake in the region. Boater safety class was a joke. It wasn't bad, but all it amounts to is a refresher on laws, navigation markers, equipment checks, and terminology. Things you know if you've been around boats throughout your life and things you can learn or refresh your memory from reading online or in your state's boaters handbook of laws and so forth. But again, none of this is relevant as government should not be doing this anyhow. We need fewer laws, not more.

ktm525 02-13-2014 7:57 AM

I am for this. I have had 2 of my three kids take the Coast Guard course. I took it with them. So I have taken it 3 times. Once when I was 17 did with my parents and 2x with my kids. My wife is going to take my youngest 16 to the class this time.

migs 02-13-2014 10:11 AM

This would be great for the CA Delta waterways. TONS OF ROOKIES/IDIOTS/DEATHS out there.

fence_sence 02-13-2014 12:00 PM

This slightly off topic but, a few comments about liscencing not keeping bad drivers off the roads has me thinking that perhaps the tests are the problem. Obviously, any jackhole can obtain a drivers liscence. All you have to do is go for a drive on any day in any state to see that. How can so many liscenced drivers be so bad at it? IMO, the testing sucks. In this age of self entitlement, it seems the general public doesn't want to be bothered with actually being good at controlling a certified death machine. :confused: I kinda like how Finland does it.


With boating being a wide open arena with minimal criteria for participating and huge potential for disaster, shouldn't we take a bit more responsibility? While this new wave of legislation is a step in the right direction, is it enough?

I know, I know. More government infringement. Aren't some things important enough to put forth the effort though?

Ansorge10 02-13-2014 12:22 PM

Staying off topic with this one but I know you can just wait until your 18 and go and take your test to get a license but if you take drivers ed before and get a permit and all of that before the age of 18 you have to drive with an instructor and all. But it's only an option and not everyone does it.

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bcrider 02-13-2014 1:18 PM

Canada pushed this in a few years back. I think it's more of tax/cash grab than anything else. The cops rarely even patrol our waterways to begin with. To me once they implemented the law they should've had an officer a every boat launch checking for licenses and turning boaters away if they didn't have one. Here anything over a 10hp motor requires a license.

buzzardmountainz 02-13-2014 3:42 PM


Originally Posted by bcrider (Post 1864820)
Canada pushed this in a few years back. I think it's more of tax/cash grab than anything else. The cops rarely even patrol our waterways to begin with. To me once they implemented the law they should've had an officer a every boat launch checking for licenses and turning boaters away if they didn't have one. Here anything over a 10hp motor requires a license.

That's because it's always about $$$ under the guise of safety.

bcrider 02-13-2014 4:32 PM

^Exactly why I'm surprised broke a$$ California hasn't done it sooner.

tmill 02-13-2014 4:46 PM

Our test up here in Washington was the biggest waste of time. 90% of the test seemed to be about buoys that you would see in large harbors or the ocean. I think I only remember 3 or 4 questions that covered water sports.

I am sure someone's kid can make some money on this. There was a kid at my local lake that was taking tests for people. Hand him your money and a card showed up in the mail a few weeks later.

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