Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the Environment Budget bill (MN H.F. 2310) into law on May 24. The legislation contains a boater safety education provision that promotes responsible and safe boating practices. The bill reinforces the state’s commitment to promote safe and responsible boating practices and has long been supported by the recreational boating and fishing industry.
The Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is responsible for establishing a water safety course and testing program for personal watercraft and watercraft operators. This course must include a written test and be approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). A working group of interested parties will collaborate under the commissioner’s guidance to develop course content.
A permit is granted upon successfully completing a water safety course and written test, or by providing proof of completing a program recognized under a reciprocity agreement. The law exempts operators born on or before July 1, 1987, and allows for an accompanying operator to be present on the motorboat.
The legislation seeks to protect both boaters and the precious water resources of Minnesota through emphasizing ecological conservation and best user practices.