Texas Parks and Wildlife Code § 31.109. Boater Education Course Required for Certain Persons

(a) This section applies only to a person who is:

(1) born on or after September 1, 1993;  and

(2) operating on the public water of this state:

(A) a vessel powered by a motor with a manufacturer's rating of more than 15 horsepower;  or

(B) a windblown vessel over 14 feet in length.

(b) A person subject to this section must have in the person's possession a photographic identification card and either:

(1) a boater identification card issued by the department;  or

(2) proof of completion of the requirements to obtain a vessel operator's license issued by the United States Coast Guard.

(c) The department shall issue a boater identification card to a person who has successfully completed:

(1) a boater education course approved by the department;  or

(2) a course equivalency examination approved by the department.

(d) A boater identification card issued to a person who has successfully completed a boater education course or course equivalency examination does not expire.

(e) If, on or before the trial of a person charged with an offense for failing to possess a document required under Subsection (b), the person produces for the court or the prosecuting attorney a document required by Subsection (b) that was issued to the person and was valid at the time of the offense, the court shall dismiss the charge.

(f) A person charged with a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor for failing to possess a document required under Subsection (b) may make to the court not later than the 10th day after the date of the alleged offense an oral or written motion requesting permission to take a boater education course approved by the department or a vessel operator's licensing course provided by the United States Coast Guard.  The court shall defer the proceedings brought against a person who makes a motion described by this subsection and allow the person 90 days to present written evidence that the person has successfully completed the course approved by the department or provided by the United States Coast Guard.  If the person successfully completes the course and the court accepts the presented evidence, the court shall dismiss the charge.


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