Real Estate: New Law for Public Lakes in North Carolina: Lake Norman & Mt Island Lake

Are you under the age of 26? Do you operate a boat or jet ski on a public lake in North Carolina (Lake Norman or Mt Island Lake)? If you answered yes to both…are legal? Beginning on May 1st, a new boating safety education requirement will go in effect. This means that if you are under the age of 26 and operate a boat or personal watercraft (PWC)* with 10 horsepower or more on a public lake, you will be required to carry a card or certificate of completion that indicates you successfully completed the Boater Safety Class approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and is excepted by the Wildlife Resources Commissions (WRC). Here is a list of 10 additional ways to legally operate a boat and to comply with Statute 75A-16.2.
  • You can take a proctored equivalency test;
  • You can present a Coast Guard Captain’s License valid or expired;
  • You can have a 90-day operator’s permit issued by WRC with your vessel registration when you acquire a new or used boat;
  • You can show a rental or lease contract showing that you are renting the boat for the day and the education requirement falls upon the owner of the boat to assure that you are a safe boater;
  • You could be a Boat Salesman demonstrating the boat with proper dealer registration numbers;
  • You could prove that, you are a non- resident of North Carolina and visiting for less than 90 days. But you must also convince the officer that you meet the requirements to operate a vessel in your home state or country;
  • You could convince the same officer that you are just operating the boat to get back to safety after the real operator became impaired for some reason (good luck on this one)
  • If you’re a ‘Commercial Fisherman’ or under the direct command of a ‘Commercial Fisherman’ on a commercial fishing vessel, then you’re OK!
  • Present proof that you are over 25 years old.
 *Operating a PWC also requires you to be at least 14 years old to operate one on your own and have the certification.   For more information: Contact the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (Lake Norman) at 704-663-3333 For a list of classes and locations: Click here