Some boat operators in Maine could soon be required to take a boating license course before jumping behind the wheel of that power boat or pontoon boat.

According to The Maine Monitor, the new law would require most boaters under the age of 25 to pass a safety course before operating a boat on Maine's ponds, lakes, and rivers.

The proposed law has passed the State of Maine legislature, but still needs to have Governor Janet Mills' signature in order to become law.

If she does sign it, the law would go into effect on January 1st, 2024.  It would require all boaters born after 1999 to take an approved training course before operating a 25 horsepower or higher boat or personal watercraft.  Right now, the law only applies to inland waters.  However, some are suggesting the law be reviewed next year so that coastal waters could be added.

While there will be a six hour in-person course offered in Portland, there are also four approved online courses that can be taken from basically anywhere.  Get the details about those courses HERE.

The courses cover topics like safe operation, boating laws, and water survival.

Apparently, Maine is one of the few states where boats are not required to pass a training course before operating a boat.

It appears that, currently, the state's only law regarding boater training is for teens aged 16 and 17.  Found on the State of Maine website, it reads:

Persons 16 years of age and under 18 years of age MAY NOT operate a personal watercraft unless they possess on their person, identification showing proof of age and proof of successful completion of a NASBLA approved boating safety course unless they are accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older who physically occupies the personal watercraft.

What are your thoughts about the proposed law?  Is it necessary?  Why or why not?  Let us know what you think by sending us a message through our app or on Facebook.

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