South Carolina governor signs boater safety legislation

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster was joined earlier this month by Lieutenant Governor Pamela S. Evette, state and local law enforcement officers, state agency leaders, and members of the General Assembly for a ceremonial bill signing of Senate Bill 96, a bill that strengthens boater education requirements. Under current South Carolina law, anyone younger than 16 is required to complete a boater education course to operate vessels, while adults do not need to have any training or education.

Effective Aug. 18, this new law requires anyone born after July 1, 2007, to take a state-approved boater education course. Individuals who have completed this course in other states would have reciprocity in the state of South Carolina.

“With 30,000 miles of rivers and streams and the most beautiful coastline in the country, boating is a cherished pastime in South Carolina,” said Governor McMaster. “By educating boaters and promoting responsible practices, we protect the lives of those who use our waterways and encourage more South Carolinians and visitors alike to enjoy South Carolina’s endless natural treasures.”

South Carolina State Senator Chip Campsen and Representative Chris Wooten have been working tirelessly the past three years to help pass this legislation through the General Assembly. Grassroots efforts through Boating Safety South Carolina, South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance (SCBFA), Morgan Kiser, and countless others were instrumental in advocating for strengthened boater safety in South Carolina.

For more information on this legislation or to learn about engagement opportunities at your state capitol, contact Ben Murray,  NMMA’s Manager of Southeast Policy & Engagement, at

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