The state requires that all water-going vessels must be registered at the owner's local tax collector's office. Exempt from this are nonmotorized vessels that are less than 16 feet in length, nonmotorized kayaks and canoes. Boaters must affix the certificate of registration onboard, and it must be available for inspection whenever the boat is operated.
Some waterways in the state have speed restrictions. Any boat operating in a speed zone posted as "Idle Speed---No Wake" must proceed at the minimum posted speed. Another speed zone limit is posted as "Slow Down---Minimum Wake;" boaters must operate completely settled in the water and fully off plane in these zones.
Personal Flotation Devices
Florida requires each person operating and riding in a watercraft to wear an Coast Guard-approved, noninflatable Type I, II, III or V personal flotation device (PFD). Inflatable PFDs are not allowed for personal watercraft use. If you are the boat's operator, you must attach the engine cutoff switch lanyard to your body, clothing or PFD.
Florida law states that boaters must be at least 14 years of age to operate a boat in the state's waters. You must be at least 18 years of age to rent a personal watercraft in the state.
Water-going vessels may not be operated from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, even when navigation lights are used. The law requires the use of navigation lights from sunset to sunrise.