(1) Until October 1, 2011, except as provided in subsection (2), a person under the age of 14 shall not operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this state.

(2) Until October 1, 2011, a person who is 12 or more and less than 14 years of age may operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this state if all of the following circumstances exist:

Terms Used In Michigan Laws 324.80215

  • Boating safety certificate: means either of the following:

    (i) The document issued by the department under this part that certifies that the individual named in the document has successfully completed a boating safety course and passed an examination approved and administered as required under section 80211. See Michigan Laws 324.80201

  • Department: means the department of natural resources. See Michigan Laws 324.80201
  • Manufacturer: means a person engaged in any of the following:

    (i) The manufacture, construction, or assembly of personal watercraft or associated equipment. See Michigan Laws 324.80201

  • Operate: means to be in control of a personal watercraft while the personal watercraft is under way and is not docked or at anchor or secured in another way. See Michigan Laws 324.80201
  • Owner: means a person who claims or is entitled to lawful possession of a personal watercraft by virtue of that person's legal title or equitable interest in a personal watercraft. See Michigan Laws 324.80201
  • Person: means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity. See Michigan Laws 324.80201
  • Personal watercraft: means a vessel that meets all of the following requirements:

    (i) Uses a motor-driven propeller or an internal combustion engine powering a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion. See Michigan Laws 324.80201

  • state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, shall be construed to extend to and include the District of Columbia and the several territories belonging to the United States; and the words "United States" shall be construed to include the district and territories. See Michigan Laws 324.51501
  • Waters of this state: means any waters within the territorial limits of this state, and includes those waters of the Great Lakes that are under the jurisdiction of this state. See Michigan Laws 324.80201

(a) The person is accompanied solely by the person’s parent or legal guardian.

(b) Both the person and the parent or legal guardian have obtained a boating safety certificate.

(c) The personal watercraft is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch, and the parent or legal guardian has the lanyard attached to his or her person, clothing, or personal flotation device.

(d) The personal watercraft is designed to carry not less than 2 persons.

(3) A person who was born after December 31, 1978 shall not operate a personal watercraft upon the waters of this state unless he or she first obtains a boating safety certificate.

(4) Beginning October 1, 2011, a person under the age of 16 shall not operate a personal watercraft on the waters of this state unless the person is not less than 14 years of age and 1 of the following circumstances applies:

(a) The person is riding the personal watercraft with his or her parent or guardian or an individual 21 years of age or older designated by the parent or guardian.

(b) The person is operating or riding a personal watercraft at a distance of not more than 100 feet from his or her parent or guardian or an individual 21 years of age or older designated by the parent or guardian.

(5) The owner of a personal watercraft or a person having charge over or control of a personal watercraft shall not authorize or knowingly permit the personal watercraft to be operated in violation of this section.

(6) This section does not apply to a performer engaged in a professional exhibition or a person preparing to participate or participating in a regatta, race, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition held in compliance with section 80164 under a permit issued by the department and at the time and place specified in the permit.

(7) The amendatory act that added subdivisions (4)(a) and (b) shall be known and may be cited as “Ashleigh Iserman’s Law”.