Colorado Regulatory Guide for Boat Rentals

Colorado has regulations related to vessel operation, including boats used for leasing. These regulations cover various aspects of vessel operation, such as equipment requirements, safety procedures, and operator licensing requirements. On this page, we navigate you through everything you need to have in place to ensure that your boat rental business complies with Colorado's regulations, along with some other important things to keep in mind.

Boxes you need to tick

These are requirements as defined by law:

Registration Requirement

Certificate of Number must be carried onboard. Registration numbers and validation decals must be properly displayed on hull of boat.

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Age Requirement

No person under sixteen years of age shall operate a motorboat

No owner or operator of a vessel livery or an agent or employee of such owner or operator shall lease, hire, or rent a motorboat to or for operation by any person under sixteen years of age; except that a person fourteen years of age or older who has not reached his or her sixteenth birthday may be permitted or authorized to operate a motorboat if he or she has met the boating safety and certificate requirements.

Record Requirement

The owner or operator of a vessel livery must maintain records of renters' information, vessel details, departure and return times, preserving them for at least thirty days.

The owner or operator of a vessel livery shall keep a record of the name and address of each person who hires any vessel that is designed or permitted to be operated as a vessel, the hull identification number of the vessel, and the departure date and time and the expected date and time of return of the vessel.

Such records shall be preserved for at least thirty days after the vessel is to be returned and shall be subject to inspection by the division.

Keep in mind when renting out boats


Safety Equipment

Not required

List of Passengers
Renter Insurance
Rental Agreement

The information provided is intended to be general and informative, and should not be interpreted as regulatory, legal, or insurance advice. It does not constitute professional advice from a licensed insurance agent and does not establish an attorney-client or insurer-insured relationship. This information should not replace the counsel of a qualified legal, regulatory, or insurance professional. Always consult with a qualified professional for legal, regulatory, or insurance advice pertaining to your specific circumstances.

Boat Rental Accident Reporting

Each operator involved in an accident must file an accident report. Operators are req​uired by law to exchange names, addresses, vessel IDs and the name of the owner, if different from the operator.

File an accident report using a Boating Accident Report Form within five days if the incident results in:​

  • Loss of life or disappearance from a vessel
  • An injury that required medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Or property damage in excess of $2,000 or complete loss of vessel.

Submit the report to:

Colorado Parks and Wildlife
13787 S. Hwy. 85
Littleton, CO 80125

Any person failing to file this report is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by law. This report will not be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal, arising out of the accident.

Report Accident

Federal Regulation

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) regularly provides updates on recentchanges in regulation and have overviews of specific requirements for boatrental companies

Buoy is your one-stop shop for compliance & insurance

Buoy provides boat rental companies with peace of mind while saving time and money. When using Buoy’s insurance solution, we will help you get fully compliant free of charge.

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