All Getmyboat operators are required to and are responsible for operating legally within and fully compliant of local guidelines — this includes obtaining all necessary registrations, passes, permits, etc., meeting vessel and captain requirements, using the correct docks and boating areas for commercial activities, and any other stipulations by your local laws and facility regulations.

To help, we’ve gathered the following essential details for boating in Lake Austin.

Lake Austin, a popular reservoir along the Colorado River, attracts both locals and tourists who enjoy water activities. Commercial boating services on the lake include pontoon boat rentals, party boats, kayaks, paddleboards, and guided tours. The City of Austin and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department jointly regulate boating on Lake Austin, with limited commercial boating permits available.

Party Boat Operator License:

If you're running a charter boat (except for sailboats) with a length of 30 feet or more and carrying over six passengers on inland waters, you'll need a Party Boat Operator License. The only time you are exempt from this requirement is if you already have a USCG OUPV License or a Captain's License of a higher level.More information can be found here for the Party Boat License

USCG License:

If you require a U.S. Coast Guard license, you'll be glad to hear that Getmyboat has teamed up with Mariners Learning System to simplify the certification process, making it more convenient for you. Use the promo code GETMYBOAT10 for 10% off all products.


Operating a boat for hire on Lake Austin requires the appropriate commercial insurance coverage. This coverage is essential for passenger safety, business protection, and legal compliance. To learn more about the necessary insurance coverage, please contact our partner Boat Charter Insurance


To register your boat, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your name and address
  • The boat's hull identification number (HIN)
  • The boat's length
  • The type of motor(s) on the boat
  • The date of purchase

Here is a direct link to update or get a new Registration in the State of Texas

Watercraft Annual Permit:

Typically, a Watercraft Annual Permit is required for commercial boat operations on Lake Austin, covering various watercraft types. However, in 2023, due to lower lake levels and restricted boat ramps, Travis County Parks Department isn't issuing commercial boating permits. Nevertheless, you can still operate commercially if you have a valid TPWD boater safety card, a $1 million liability insurance policy, and comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

For further details regarding the permits required for Lake Austin, please click here.

Additional information

  • A valid boater education certificate is mandatory for individuals born after September 1, 1993, who wish to operate motorized watercraft with engines exceeding 15HP or wind-blown vessels measuring over 14ft in length.
  • Your boat must be titled and registered within the state of Texas. This requirement applies to all motorized boats, irrespective of their length, as well as to all sailboats measuring 14 feet in length or longer, or any sailboat equipped with an auxiliary engine. engine(s); USCG Documented vessels must be registered (no title will be issued);
  • Your boat must have the required safety equipment. This includes a life jacket for each person on board, a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, and a sound-producing device.
  • You must adhere to all other relevant boating laws and regulations, encompassing rules related to navigation, anchoring, and fishing.
  • In designated slow-speed zones, commercial boats are prohibited from exceeding speeds of 25 mp.
  • Commercial boats must have a clearly visible name and contact information.
  • All boats must comply with the zebra mussel prevention regulations, which require draining and drying of all watercraft and equipment before entering or leaving the lake.

Pick Up / Drop off:

Multiple spots are available for dropping off and picking up boats for rental purposes. Here are a few that has a designated passenger pick up and drop off area.

  • Walsh Boat Ramp: Located off Lake Austin Boulevard and is the standard pickup location for Austin it is open from 5am to 10pm daily and has a daily parking fee of $10. They can be contacted by phone at (512) 974-6700
  • Emma Long Park: Located at 1600 City Park Road off FM 2222 . They offer a one-lane concrete ramp. They can be contacted by phone at (512) 346-1831

It's crucial to verify the marina or dock's policies regarding passenger pick-up and drop-off by contacting them in advance.

Helpful Resources:

For further details, you can access additional information through the Travis County Parks Department or get in touch with them via phone at 512-854-7275 or through email at