Who May Operate a Boat?

Those less than 12 years of age:
  • May legally operate a boat powered by a motor of no more than 6 horsepower (hp) without restrictions.
  • May legally operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 6 hp, but no more than 35 hp only if they are directly supervised onboard by a person at least 16 years of age.
  • May not legally operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 35 hp under any conditions.
Those 12 to 15 years of age:
  • May legally operate a boat powered by a motor of no more than 6 hp without restrictions.
  • May legally operate a boat powered by a motor of more than 6 hp only if they:
    • Have passed a boating safety course approved by the Department of Natural Resources and have onboard their boating safety certificate or,
    • Are accompanied onboard by a person at least 16 years of age.
Those 16 years of age or older:
  • May operate any boat on the waters of Michigan. Note: See who may operate a personal water craft below.

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Who May Operate  Personal Water Craft (PWC)?

No one less than 12 years old may legally operate a PWC.

A person who is 12 or more and less than 14 years of age may operate a PWC only if:
  • He or she obtained a boating safety certificate prior to January 1, 1999 or,
  • All of the following conditions are satisfied:
    • The person is accompanied solely by his or her parent or legal guardian.
    • Both the person and the parent or legal guardian have obtained a boating safety certificate.
    • The PWC is equipped with a lanyard-type ignition safety switch and the parent or legal guardian has the lanyard attached to his or her person, clothing, or life jacket.
    • The PWC is designed to carry at least two people.

Those 14 years of age or older:

  • A person born after December 31, 1978, may operate a PWC only if he or she has obtained a boating safety certificate.
  • Those born December 31, 1978, or earlier may operate a PWC without restrictions.

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Required Equipment Checklist

Equipment Personal Water Craft (PWC) Boats Less Than 16′ Boat Between 16′ – 26′
Boaters Safety Certificate Required only if operator is a minor Required only if operator is a minor Required only if operator is a minor
Certificate of Number Onboard Yes Yes Yes
Validation Decal Displayed Yes Yes Yes
Life Jackets (PFD’s): Type I, II, or III Those on a PWC must wear PFD at all times. Those under 12 years of age must wear a type I or II PFD. Inflatable PFD’s are not allowed on PWC. Those under the age of 6 years must wear a PFD when riding on the open deck of any boat. Those under the age of 6 years must wear a PFD when riding on the open deck of any boat.
Life Jackets (PFD’s): Type IV     Yes
Fire Extinguisher, Type B-1 Yes Yes Yes
Ignition Safety Switch Yes    
Flame Arrestor Yes Required on inboard and stern drives only Required on inboard and stern drives only
Ventilation System Yes Yes Yes
Muffler Yes Yes Yes
Horn, Bell, or Whistle Required only on the Great Lakes and waters connected to the Great Lakes. Required only on the Great Lakes and waters connected to the Great Lakes. Yes
Daytime Visual Distress System     Yes
Night Time Visual Distress System N/A When boating on the Great Lakes or waters connected to the Great Lakes between sunrise and sunset. When boating on the Great Lakes or waters connected to the Great Lakes between sunrise and sunset.
Navigation Lights N/A Manually-driven boats (sailboats under sail, rowboats, etc.) are only required to have on hand a flashlight or lantern. Manually-driven boats (sailboats under sail, rowboats, etc.) are only required to have on hand a flashlight or lantern.

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Wake & Boat Speed – DNR Control Orders

Lake Township Type Of Control
Bain Deerfield Entire lake – Slow no wake
Bass Lake Hamburg High speed boating ad water skiing prohibited
Bass Lake (Canals) Hamburg On all connected canals – Slow no wake
Bennett Lake Deerfield All Channels – Slow no wake
Big Silver Lake Putnam High Speed Boating and water skiing 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. only
Bishop Lake Hamburg Entire lake – Slow no wake
Chilson Creek Genoa Only electric motors
Chilson Pond Hamburg Only electric motors
Clark Lake Brighton No high speed boating
Clifford (Round) Lake Genoa All channels – Slow no wake
Chemung Genoa Grand River Park County Ordinance – No swimming, wading, boat docking, launching, or fishing
Cordley Hamburg Entire Lake – Slow no wake
East (Big) Crooked Genoa All channels & canals – Slow no wake
Dunham Lake Hartland Motorboats prohibited
Gill/Gut Lake Hamburg Entire lake – Slow no wake
Hiland Putnam All channels & canals – Slow no wake
Hoisington Deerfield All channels – Slow no wake
Huron River Hamburg Entire river – Slow no wake
Indian Deerfield All channels – Slow no wake
Kent Green Oak Speed 10 mph, rafts & floats confined to swim areas. No towing skiers, boards, etc.
Shan-Gri-La Lake Hamburg Entire lake – Slow no wake
Lobdell Deerfield All channels – Slow no wake
Louis Deerfield Slow no wake
Marl Tyrone Canal – Slow no wake
Mud Bay, Portage Putnam Mud bay and entrance – Slow no wake
Ore Hamburg South end of lake section 13 & 18 in Hamburg Township – Slow no wake
Osborne Lake Brighton No motorboats
Patterson Lake Deerfield Entire lake – Slow no channels
Patterson Lake Unadilla Channel – slow no wake
School Brighton Slow no wake from 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 a.m., no towing skis, tubes, etc. (7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. for Eastern Daylight Time)
Tamarack Hamburg Entire lake – Slow no wake
Triangle Marion Slow no wake from 6:30 p.m. – 10 a.m., no towing skis, tubes, etc.
Whalen Hartland No high speed boating or towing of skis, tubes, etc.
Woodburn Unadilla Entire lake – slow no wake, no towing of skis, tubes, etc.
Woodburn Canals Unadilla All connecting canals – Slow no wake

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Sheriff’s Office
Jenny Nash, Livingston County Treasurer
Michael Murphy
Sheriff
Q

Phone Numbers

Office: (517) 546-2440
Tip Line: (517) 546-8477
Jail: (517) 546-2445
Emergencies: 911
Non-Emergencies: (517) 546-9111

Office Hours

Mon-Thu: 7 a.m. -7 p.m.
Fri: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Location

150 S Highlander Way
Howell, MI 48843

Fax

(517) 545-9627