Kayaking is a popular recreational activity enjoyed by many in the state of Missouri, with its abundant waterways and beautiful scenery. However, it’s essential to be aware of the regulations and kayak laws in Missouri for legal compliance.
That’s why it’s important to understand canoe and kayak laws and limitations to ensure a safe experience in Missouri. Most importantly, failure to comply with these laws can result in fines and legal action! By familiarizing yourself with the rules and regulations, you can level up your kayaking experience while also protecting yourself.
In the following guide, we’ll delve into the specific laws and regulations that apply to kayak and canoeing in Missouri. We’ll cover topics such as registration and licensing requirements, safety equipment, navigation rules, and prohibited activities.
We’ll also provide helpful tips and resources to help you stay informed and up-to-date on any changes to these regulations. If you’re in a hurry, we recommend you jump to the main section directly!
In Missouri, kayaks and other non-motorized watercraft do not need to be registered or licensed by the state. However, there are certain areas in Missouri where a permit may be required to kayak. For example, in some of the state’s conservation areas or in certain state parks.
These permits typically require a fee and can be obtained through the Missouri Department of Conservation or the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
While kayaking without a permit may be possible in most areas, it’s important to note that permits are in place to help manage and protect natural resources and ensure the safety of all users.
Additionally, following regulations and obtaining permits helps to support conservation efforts and maintain access to waterways for all users.
No, it is illegal to drink and kayak in Missouri. Operating a kayak while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered operating while intoxicated (OWI). And this is a serious offense. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while operating a watercraft in Missouri is the same as for driving a vehicle, which is 0.08%.
Furthermore, kayaking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair your judgment and reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
No, kayaks and other non-motorized watercraft do not need to be registered or titled in Missouri. However, as mentioned earlier, there may be certain areas in Missouri where a permit is required to kayak. Particularly, in some of the state’s conservation areas or certain state parks. These permits typically require a fee and can be obtained through the Missouri Department of Conservation or the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Missouri Kayaking Laws And Regulations
As you venture out to explore the picturesque waterways of Missouri, it’s important to keep in mind the basic kayaking laws that govern this exhilarating activity. These laws are in place to ensure your safety and the safety of others around you. These also aim at protecting the environment and preserving the natural beauty of the waterways.
By understanding these laws, you’ll be able to navigate the legal landscape with ease and enjoy your kayaking experience with confidence.
So, let’s take a closer look at the basic kayaking laws in Missouri and discover how you can enjoy this exciting water sport in a safe, responsible, and enjoyable manner.
Life jacket laws
Missouri law requires that all kayakers wear a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on the water. The law applies to all kayakers, regardless of age or skill level. The life jacket must be worn properly and securely fastened at all times. In addition, all kayakers must carry a sound-producing device, such as a whistle or horn, to signal for help if needed.
Children under the age of seven must wear a life jacket at all times while in a kayak. Children between the ages of seven and twelve must wear a life jacket while the kayak is in motion. But they may remove it when the kayak is stationary. All children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult while kayaking.
The fine for violating Missouri’s life jacket law is up to $200. In addition to the fine, kayakers who are found not wearing a life jacket may be required to attend a boating safety course.
Read the details of this law here.
Operating under the influence (OUI) laws
In Missouri, it is illegal for anyone operating a kayak to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This offense is known as Operating Under the Influence (OUI).
OUI is defined as operating a kayak while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two to the degree that impairs the operator’s ability to operate the kayak safely. In Missouri, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for operating a kayak is 0.08%.
If a kayaker is found to be operating under the influence, they may face penalties such as fines, jail time, and loss of kayaking privileges. A first offense for OUI while kayaking in Missouri can result in a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail. Subsequent offenses carry higher fines and longer jail sentences.
It is important to note that OUI laws apply to all types of watercraft, not just motorized boats.
Read the details of this law here.
Kayak Trolling Motor Laws In Missouri
In Missouri, kayaks can be equipped with an electric motor or a gas-powered motor as long as they meet certain requirements.
Requirements for a motorized kayak
- The motor must be registered with the Missouri Department of Revenue.
- The kayak must display a current registration decal on the hull.
- The operator of the motorized kayak must have a valid driver’s license or boating safety education card.
- The motor must not exceed a maximum horsepower limit of 10 horsepower.
Restrictions on where motorized kayaks can operate
- Motorized kayaks are not allowed to operate on lakes that have been designated as “no wake” zones.
- Motorized kayaks are not allowed to operate on any waterway where the use of gas-powered motors is prohibited.
Fine Type And Amount
Operating a motorized kayak without proper registration or without a valid driver’s license or boating safety education card may result in fines of up to $500.
Operating a motorized kayak in a “no wake” zone or in a prohibited area may result in fines of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
Read the details of this law here.
Kayaking Permits and Fees in Missouri
Kayaking is a popular recreational activity in Missouri, with many beautiful rivers, lakes, and streams for kayakers to explore. However, before hitting the water, kayakers need to be aware of the permits and fees required by the state.
In the following section, we’ll explain the types of permits required for kayaking in Missouri, the fees associated with them, and how to obtain them.
Missouri Watercraft Registration
All non-motorized kayaks in Missouri are exempt from registration. However, kayaks with a motor, whether gas or electric, must be registered with the Missouri Department of Revenue. This registration is required to operate the kayak legally in Missouri’s waterways.
Kayak registration fees in Missouri
The fees for registering a kayak with the Missouri Department of Revenue vary depending on the type of motor and the length of the kayak. As of 2023, the fees range from $12 for a kayak with an electric motor to $52 for a kayak with a gas motor over 16 feet in length.
Missouri Conservation Permit
Kayakers using Missouri’s conservation areas for access to rivers and streams may need to obtain a Missouri Conservation Permit. These permits are required for all users, including kayakers, using conservation areas for activities such as fishing, hiking, camping, and picnicking.
Missouri River Access Permit
Kayakers using any Missouri Department of Conservation access points to access rivers and streams in Missouri are required to obtain a Missouri River Access Permit. This permit is valid for the calendar year and can be used at any of Missouri’s river access points.
To obtain a permit for kayaking in Missouri, you can visit their website. The Missouri Department of Conservation or the Missouri Department of Natural Resources handles most of these. They provide information on obtaining permits, including fees, restrictions, and other regulations. You can get most of these permits online. But a few of them may require you to contact a specific office.
To sum up, kayaking in Missouri can be a rewarding and memorable experience. But it’s important always to prioritize safety and respect the natural beauty of the state. And understanding kayak laws and regulations in Missouri is essential for safe and responsible kayaking. It’s important to know the requirements for life jackets, age restrictions, and OUI laws to ensure that you’re following the law and staying safe on the water.