A Federal Regulation went into effect May 1, 1995, which
requires operators of all boats to have at least one wearable life
jacket or personal flotation device, for each person aboard. Under
the new regulation a throwable PFD (Type IV) will no longer qualify
as a life jacket on boats less than 16 feet. PFD requirements
remain unchanged on boats 16 feet and over.
Section 59-21-31 of the Mississippi Code, prohibits the removal
or alteration of awarded numbers or identification numbers affixed
to vessels, boats, outboard motors and trailers has been
amended. Additional language added to this section provides
that no person may buy, sell or possess a vessel, boat, outboard
motor or trailer on which any awarded number or identification
number has been removed or altered.
Due to the increase in marine theft, a closer look is being
taken at applications for boat registration when received.
Applications for boat registration with required information
missing or information which appears to be incorrect, will be sent
back to the applicant along with a boat inspection form to be
completed by a conservation officer. The application should then be
resubmitted along with the completed boat inspection form. All
home-made boats will be inspected prior to registration.
The Alcohol Boating Safety Act makes it unlawful to operate a
watercraft on the public waters of the State of Mississippi while
under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any other substance
which has impaired the person's ability to operate a
- As a condition of operating a watercraft on the public waters
of this state, the person operating the watercraft is deemed to
have given consent to testing for the purpose of determining the
alcoholic content of his blood.
- "Watercraft" is defined as any motorized vessel with a motor of
twenty-five horsepower or greater used for transportation on public
waters, and any personal watercraft (jet skis).
- "Public waters" is defined as all public waters over which the
State of Mississippi has jurisdiction.
- Penalties for conviction under this law are:
a). First conviction - Fine no less than $250.00 nor more than
$1,000.00, or imprisonment in jail for not more than 24 hours or
both. Violator must complete a boating safety course.
b). Second conviction (within a five-year period) - Fine no less
than $600.00 nor more than $1,000.00; and imprisonment not less
than 48 consecutive hours nor more than one year or community
service work for not less than ten days nor more than one year.
Court shall order violator not to operate a watercraft for one
c). Third conviction (within a five-year period) - Fine no less
than $800.00 nor more than $1,000.00; and imprisonment not less
than thirty days nor more than one year. Court shall order violator
not to operate a watercraft for two years.
d). Conviction of a fourth or subsequent violation (within a
five-year period) is a FELONY OFFENSE. Fine no less than $2,000.00
nor more than $5,000.00; and imprisonment in the state penitentiary
for not less than ninety days nor more than five years. Court shall
order violator not to operate a watercraft for three years.
Effective July 1, 1997 any person born after June 30, 1980 must
complete a Boating Safety Course to operate a boat. Persons under
12 years of age must be accompanied by a person 21 or older on
board the boat in order to operate the boat.
For persons who wish to learn more about Mississippi Boating
Basics and the legal and safe practices for boat operators, a six
hour instructor taught course is available for groups. The
Mississippi Boating Basics home-study course is available for
persons who are unable to attend an instructor taught course. Most
insurance companies honor these courses by offering reductions in
insurance premiums on completion.
Effective July l, l998 Mississippi will offer the option for
titling boats and motors. This is not a mandatory
requirement, however, a more complete record will be obtained for
boat owners. A ten dollar fee will be charged for original
applications, duplicates or transfers.
For more information related to BOATING and Boating Safety
Classes, call 601-432-2182 or write to: BOATING ENFORCEMENT, P. O.
Box 451, Jackson, MS 39205-0451.
Mississippi law requires all sailboats and every undocumented
vessel equipped with propulsion machinery, whether or not such
machinery is the principal source of propulsion, using the
territorial and navigable waters of the State of Mississippi to be
registered and numbered for identification. No person may
operate or give permission for the operation of any boat powered by
machinery unless it is registered and numbered in accordance with
the law. The owner of any vessel required to be numbered has
ten (10) days from the date for acquisition to register the boat.
Online Boat Registration
Fees for the award of certificates of number for original,
transfer, renewals, livery, dealer and duplicate shall be as
- Less than 16 feet $10.20
- 16 feet but less than 26 feet $25.20
- 26 feet but less than 40 feet $47.70
- 40 feet and over $47.70
- Dealer Number $40.20
- Duplicate $7.70
The certificate of number of a livery boat shall be plainly
marked "livery boat." Original and renewal certificate of
number of a livery boat shall be valid for a period of three(3)
years and shall expire at midnight on June 30 of each biennium