Texas Regulatory Guide

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) regulates boating to prioritize safety and environmental conservation. They enforce rules on boat registrations, safety equipment, and speed limits while actively promoting responsible boating practices through education. TPWD's efforts aim to maintain a safe and sustainable boating environment while preserving Texas's diverse aquatic ecosystems. On this page, we navigate you through everything you need to have in place in order to ensure that your boat rental business is compliant with Texas’ regulations, along with some other important things to keep in mind.

Boxes you need to tick

These are requirements as defined by law:


A vessel livery must purchase liability insurance from an insurer licensed to do business in this state.

License Requirement

If you were born on or after September 1, 1993, you must complete a Boater Education course to operate a PWC or a boat with a horsepower rating of more than 15 hp.

Safety Checklist

A vessel livery shall provide each operator of the rented vessel instruction relating to:

A vessel livery shall provide each operator of the rented vessel instruction relating to:

(1) the provisions of this chapter;

(2) operational characteristics of the rented vessel; and

(3) boating regulations that apply in the area of operation of the vessel.

Record Requirement

The owner of a vessel livery shall keep a record of...

The owner of a vessel livery shall keep a record of the name and address of the persons hiring any vessel operated as a motorboat, the vessel's certificate of number, the time and date of departure, and the expected time of return. The record shall be kept for six months.


A permit is required if the vessel being rented qualifies as a party boat under Texas law.

Keep in mind when renting out boats


Livery Definition

Not required

Rental Agreement
List of Passengers

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

Operators of any vessel must report accidents and casualties to a local law enforcement agency or to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The report must be given within 30 days of the occurrence (48 hours if a fatality occurs) if the collision, accident or casualty resulted in:

  • death (or missing person); or
  • injury (requiring treatment beyond first aid) to any person; or
  • property damage exceeding $2,000.

The accident report should include a full description of the collision, accident, or casualty in accordance with regulations established by the department.

To report a boating accident, contact your local law enforcement agency, or call TPWD at:

  • (800) 792-1112
  • (512) 389-4848 (24-hour dispatch)

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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