The Handbook of Oklahoma: Boating Laws and Responsibilities

The Handbook of Oklahoma: Boating Laws and Responsibilities


The Handbook of Oklahoma: Boating Laws and Responsibilities is the official boating handbook developed for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Lake Patrol Section. The handbook introduces you to Oklahoma laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation on Oklahoma waterways.

Oklahoma is covered with more than one million surface acres of water, and visiting one of the big three—Lake Tenkiller, Lake Eufaula, and Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees—will provide you with both relaxation and adventure. Whether you rent a stand-up paddleboard, go fishing, or take your boat out for a quick spin around one of Oklahoma’s lakes, you’ll enjoy the rolling hills and crystal clear water.

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

Topics include:

  • Vessel Basics
  • Navigation Rules
  • Nighttime Navigation
  • Emergencies
  • Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
  • Oklahoma 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.

Persons at least 12 years of age but not yet 16 years of age may operate a vessel powered by a motor over 10 horsepower, a PWC, or a sailboat 16 feet or longer only if he or she has passed an Oklahoma-approved boat education course.