NC Boat Accidents: No License Required

According to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, NC does not require a boating license. Instead, a Boater Education Card is required. (NC charter boats are run under a different ordinance.) Problems with boater education have made headlines during the past year, especially after a summer 2011 boating accident in Charlotte that injured a young woman. The woman’s breasts and right arm were amputated in addition to scarring around her body. The boat operator was charged with negligent operation of a motorboat, endangering life and limb, and operation of a motorboat with insufficient life jackets. The suit also charges the boat renter.

What are the responsibilities of a boat owner or a boat operator when there are no NC laws requiring training or licensure for operating a boat?

• Boating accidents like this have prompted officials to discuss new types of boating legislation. There are alcohol restrictions, life jacket requirements and safety measures, but how old do you have to be to operate a boat in NC? Teenagers from 14-16 are allowed to operate a motorized boat as long as they have completed a boating safety education course OR they are chaperoned by someone who is 18 or older. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, a state organization focused on nature conservation and research, offers boat safety training courses.

• What boats need to be registered in North Carolina? ALL motorized boats and sail boats that are longer than 14 feet. (Rafts, canoes and rowboats without motors are not required.)

Boat injuries are traumatic for victims and their families. NC boat accident attorneys at Brent Adams & Associates help accident victims fight for the compensation they deserve for their boat accident injuries. Unique maritime laws, municipality jurisdictions as well as state and federal laws can affect boat accident victims’ rights, and our NC personal injury attorneys know exactly how these laws influence boating accident settlements in NC. Call a NC boat accident attorney to schedule a free review of your injury by calling 800.849.5931.
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