Know the Laws!
It is your responsibility to know and follow established rules and regulations. The following is a summary of those rules. In addition to state boating laws, local government and federal agency regulations may apply to boating activities in some areas. Contact the county sheriffs office or the federal agency for the area where you will be boating to find out if any additional regulations are in effect.
MCA 23-2-5 defines the laws for registering and operating watercraft in Montana.
ARM 12.8.212 defines the rules for boating and swimming areas.
ARM 12.11 covers no-wake zones, boat equipment requirements, and regulations for specific bodies of water.
Montana Boating Laws Booklet
| 509 KB
These are the laws for operating a boat in Montana. Learn more
Montana and federal laws require that basic safety items be on board all boats. Learn more
These rules of the road are the traffic laws of Montana's waterways. Like other traffic laws, they are legally binding on vessel operators. The rules dictate who has the right of way when vessels meet in open water and in crowded anchorages. Learn more
The No-Wake zones vary depending on the size of the lake. Learn more
Closures and public use restrictions are in effect for reasons of public health, safety, or protection of property. Learn more
Individuals and nonprofit organizations may identify hazards on state waterways by placing a sign or marker at the hazard. Learn more