The Handbook of Mississippi: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Mississippi: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


The Handbook of Mississippi: Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The handbook introduces you to Mississippi laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on Mississippi waterways.

Mississippi is a state defined by its relationship with water, from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and all of the lakes and streams in between. Whether you enjoy waterskiing or canoeing, the waterways of Mississippi have plenty to offer.

Use this handbook to familiarize yourself with steps to make all your boating outings safe and enjoyable. Remember, safety on Mississippi waterways is the responsibility of all boaters. 

Topics include:

  • Vessel Basics
  • Navigation Rules
  • Nighttime Navigation
  • Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
  • Mississippi Boating Laws and Regulations
  • Required Equipment
  • Skiing
  • And much more…

Boater Education

You may have heard that you need a boating license to operate your boat, but what you really need is a boaters safety course. Whether or not your state requires education, it can reduce boating accidents and injuries on the water. Boaters can keep themselves and their passengers safe by learning about responsible boat operation, etiquette, and the rules of the waterways.

All persons born after June 30, 1980, must have passed a Mississippi-approved boat education course to operate a vessel legally.