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PWC Laws

A new Michigan law relating to Personal Watercraft took effect in 1999. The following list highlights the major provisions under this law. All other laws/rules remain the same. No one under 14 may operate a PWC. (Those who are 12 - 14 years of age before January 1, 1999, and have their Boaters Safety Certificate before that date, may operate a PWC but MUST have their certificate with them.) No one born after December 31, 1978, may operate a PWC without a Boaters Safety Certificate. The owner or person in charge of the PWC shall not allow anyone to violate this section. Does not apply to Non-Michigan residents until January 1, 2000.

Anyone, 12 or older, on or towed by a PWC must wear a Type 1, 2, or 3 Personal Floatation Device (PFD).

Anyone under 12 on or towed by a PWC must wear a Type 1 or 2 PFD.

Operator is responsible for everyone wearing a proper PFD, not an inflatable PFD.

No one under 7 years old is allowed on or can be towed by a PWC unless a parent or guardian (or their designee) is on board.

If the PWC is equipped with a lanyard (safety cut-off switch), it must be properly attached.

No operation of a PWC between one hour before official sunset and 8:00 a.m.

No crossing within 150 feet behind another vessel, other than another PWC, unless at slow, no-wake speed.

No operating a PWC in water less than 2-feet deep, unless at no-wake speed or docking/launching.