Do You Need A Boating License To Rent A Boat In Idaho?


No, you do not need a boating license to rent a boat in Idaho. You only need a valid driver’s license and to be 21 years of age or older.

Other Boating Regulations in Idaho

In addition to the requirements for operating a motorized vessel, there are other boating regulations that you should be aware of in Idaho:

  • All vessels must have a wearable U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on board. Children under the age of 14 must wear a PFD at all times while the vessel is underway.
  • Boats must be equipped with a horn or whistle, and a visual distress signal such as flares or an orange flag.
  • It’s illegal to operate a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Idaho.
  • Some waterways in Idaho have speed limits or no-wake zones. Make sure you’re familiar with the local regulations before you hit the water.

Renting a Boat in Idaho

Now that you know the boating regulations in Idaho, let’s talk about renting a boat. There are several options for boat rentals in Idaho, including:

  • Resorts and Marinas: Many resorts and marinas offer boat rentals for guests, usually with a variety of watercraft to choose from, such as pontoon boats, speedboats, and Jet Skis.
  • Rental Companies: There are also rental companies that specialize in boat rentals, with locations throughout the state.
  • Peer-To-Peer Rentals: Finally, you can also rent a boat directly from an individual owner through a peer-to-peer rental platform such as Boatsetter or GetMyBoat.

No matter where you rent your boat from, make sure you ask about the safety equipment that’s provided, as well as any local regulations or restrictions that you need to be aware of. It’s also a good idea to inspect the boat thoroughly before you set out and to ask for a demonstration of the controls if you’re not familiar with the make and model of the boat.

When you rent a boat in Idaho, you’ll usually be asked to provide a credit card for a security deposit, as well as a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license. Some rental companies may also require proof of insurance, although this is less common for recreational rentals.

If you’re new to boating or not confident in your skills, you may want to consider hiring a captain or taking a guided tour. Many rental companies offer these services, which can help you navigate the waterways safely and make the most of your boating experience.

Basic Boating Safety Tips

Whether you’re a seasoned boater or a first-time renter, it’s important to keep safety top of mind when you’re on the water. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

  • Always wear a PFD, and make sure it fits properly and is in good condition.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings, and watch for other boats, swimmers, and hazards such as rocks or logs.
  • Follow the local regulations and speed limits, and be respectful of other boaters and waterfront property owners.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs while operating a boat, and make sure your passengers do the same.
  • Carry a first aid kit and other emergency equipment, such as a whistle, flares, and a fire extinguisher.
  • Keep an eye on the weather, and be prepared for changes in conditions such as wind, waves, or lightning.
  • If you’re not sure about something, ask! Most boaters are happy to help out a fellow boater in need.

If you’re a beginner to both boating or renting, be sure to read a guide on what to know.

Do Some Research & Have Fun Out There!

In summary, you do not need a boating license to rent a boat in Idaho, but there are some age restrictions and other requirements that you should be aware of. It’s also important to follow the local regulations and boating safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the water.

If you’re planning a boating trip to Idaho, be sure to research your options for boat rentals and familiarize yourself with the local waterways and regulations. And most importantly, have fun and stay safe out there!