What Are the Boating Regulations in Tennessee?


Although most people have put away their boats for the winter and are preparing for colder temperatures, it never hurts to brush up on the state's boating regulations. Spring and summer will be here before we know it and no one should be found unprepared when it's time to pull the boats back out of storage!

Tennessee has numerous scenic areas that make boating extremely enjoyable, but accidents are common no matter where you're at. One of the most important rules imposed by boating law enforcement is the need to have a license, especially for younger individuals. Anyone born after January 1, 1989 is required to have their TWRA-issued card on them at all times while operating the boat.

Those under 12 years old must have an adult on board with them and anyone under 16 years of age is not allowed to rent personal watercraft.

Other Significant Rules & Regulations

The state imposes regulations for numerous different issues, including reckless operation, owner responsibility, personal watercraft, and noise levels. The more people follow the rules, the better their time on the water will be.

Anyone found acting recklessly while operating any kind of watercraft is subject to fines of up to $500 and at least six months in jail. If an accident does occur, the operator of the vessel is required to report the accident right away, usually within 48 hours and no longer than 10 days.

Those who will be waterskiing must abide by the following guidelines:

  • No skiing between sunset and sunrise
  • No skiing during inclement weather
  • Towing vessels must have a mirror or someone watching the skier
  • Skiers must wear some kind of life preserver
  • No skiing in front of or near other boats

No wake areas are strictly enforced, as are TWRA access areas.

The safer you are, the more fun you and others will have on the water. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, don't hesitate to contact our Morristown personal injury lawyer. We may be able to help you receive deserved compensation!