How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive A Jet Ski?

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A lot of young adults would love to drive Jet Skis, but the confusion regarding the legal age to drive a jet ski stops them from doing so. The legal age to drive a Jet Ski in the USA varies from state to state. The minimum age range is 12-18 years, but other rules and age factors must adhere to. No matter, how skilled you are at Jet Skiing, you should always wear a jet ski lifejacket.

Why set a minimum age requirement for driving Jet Skis?

Governments of various states have set a minimum age requirement for driving Jet Skis because it is a universal fact that prevention is always better than cure. Jet Skis are all fun and cool until they are not. They could be small in size, but they require the same amount of care and technical knowledge as any other water-based complex driving machine.

They can be very dangerous if the person operating them loses control in any way. They can injure themselves or the other people on the beach. If the accident is of very high intensity, it can lead to the loss of lives. It is better to wear an active swimsuit while jet skiing.

What is the difference in age restrictions between different states?

As mentioned earlier in the articles, there are minor differences between states regarding the age to drive Jet Skis. The state of Alaska has not set up any minimum age requirement to operate a Jet Ski.

16-year-old Californians can operate a Jet Ski on their own without any supervision. Children in the age group of 12-15 need an adult to supervise them while operating a Jet Ski. A life jacket or personal flotation device has to be worn by everyone at all times.

Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to operate a Jet Ski even with an educational certificate in California and Ohio. A child above 12 can operate a Jet Ski in Ohio as long as an adult supervises them, and both have an educational certificate. People above 16 years of age need an academic certificate to operate a Jet Ski but do not require any supervision.

In Florida, a person can drive a Jet Ski after their 14th birthday if their family owns the Jet Ski. However, they should be at least 18 years of age in order to rent out a Jet Ski on their own.

Citizens under 15 years of age cannot operate a Jet Ski in Indiana.

Similarly, all other states have similar kinds of rules regarding this subject.

Are there any requirements other than the age factor?

The rules of most State governments require people to do a course in boating education to drive a Jet Ski. People in such states have to carry their boating education license and a photo ID whenever they go Jet Skiing. Some states also require citizens to be of a certain height to drive or even sit as passengers.


In conclusion, different states have formulated different rules in relation to Jet Skiing. All these rules have a common motive: the safety of those on Jet Ski and the people around them. You should wear a good quality sailing watch while jet skiing so that you can keep track of the time.