Virginia boating licenses now required on all watercraft

Photo: Flickr/MSMMcCarthy

Hitting the water on a jet ski or a boat is very popular during the hottest months of the year, but big changes just went into place in Virginia for those who want to enjoy some fun on the water.

There are now new laws in place for those who run personal watercraft like high-powered jet skis and wave runners; namely, operators must now hold a license and must take a mandatory six-hour boating safety course.

"They can be dangerous, like a motorcycle on the water," wave runner owner Joey McMullen said. "Police do like to pull over jet skiers."

Many owners and boaters believe the new law makes sense, especially when safety is at stake. The regulations apply to all ages of operators, must be obeyed by residents and visitors alike and the course can be taken online as well as in person.

Most say that they're in favor of the new regulations especially for the smaller watercraft.

"Especially with the jet skis, to make sure everyone has a life jacket and the appropriate safety gear," boater Jason Schmauder said.