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Virginia Boater’s Guide

Boating is a great pastime, offering fun, relaxation, and even exercise when paddling; it also involves preparation and responsibility to have a safe day on the water. Always, be courteous to others on the water and to adjacent landowners, don’t drink and boat, always wear a lifejacket, and take a boating safety course.

The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is the state boating agency and its employees work diligently to provide boating access and opportunity to Virginia’s boaters and paddlers to enjoy the many beautiful waters that Virginia offers.

The Virginia Boating Laws and Regulations contained on this website are in a summarized format. It is the responsibility of the boater to know and follow all applicable rules. The Virginia Boat Codes and Regulations may be accessed at the Virginia Code and Laws section of the Commonwealth’s website.