Monroe Lake, located approximately 60 miles southwest of Indianapolis in south-central Indiana, is a expansive reservoir renowned for its popularity among outdoor enthusiasts. Boasting popularity for activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, and camping, the lake is surrounded by state parks and recreation areas. Boating is a prevalent pastime for both locals and tourists alike, with Monroe Lake offering ample space for a diverse range of watercraft, including small kayaks, canoes, and larger pontoons and yachts. Additionally, the lake features numerous coves and islands, providing ideal opportunities for exploration.

All Getmyboat operators must follow and are responsible for conducting operations in accordance with local guidelines. This includes obtaining the necessary registrations, passes, and permits, and be in compliance with vessel and captain requirements. Additionally, operators must utilize specified docks and designated boating areas for commercial activities, as stipulated by local laws and facility regulations. To facilitate compliance, we have gathered essential information for boating on Monroe Lake.

Vessel Registration:

To legally operate any watercraft on Indiana waterways, you must register it with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and display valid watercraft decals. Registration is not required for certain exempt vessels. The registration fee for a vessel in Indiana is determined by its length and its excise class.

Boater Education Certificate:

Anyone born after July 1, 1985, must obtain Indiana boater education certification to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft (PWC) with a motor exceeding 7.5 horsepower.


Ensuring safety, safeguarding your business, and meeting regulatory requirements are all essential reasons to secure sufficient insurance coverage. Feel free to reach out to our affiliated partner, Boat Charter Insurance , to explore and discuss your specific needs.

USCG Captain’s License:

Charter vessel captains are required to hold a valid US Coast Guard license that corresponds to the size and category of the vessel they command. A 6-pack license is adequate for vessels with a capacity of up to six passengers, while a Master Captain's license is obligatory for those carrying more than six passengers. The captain bears the sole responsibility for both the safety of passengers and the charter vessel. For a more in-depth understanding of captain's licenses, you can explore Mariners Learning System. Use the code GETMYBOAT10 to receive a 10% discount.

Certificate of Inspection (COI):

Commercial passenger boats operating on Monroe Lake must possess a valid Coast Guard COI to carry more than six passengers for a fee. This certification verifies compliance with safety regulations, including the mandatory presence of essential safety equipment like life jackets and fire extinguishers aboard the vessel. Additionally, the COI guarantees that the boat is adequately staffed with a qualified crew capable of safely operating the vessel. For more information, please visit the USCG website.

Passenger Pick Up/ Drop Off:

Many locations permit boat drop-offs and pickups for rentals. One such location is:

  • Hardin Ridge Recreation Area: Situated at 6464 Hardin Ridge Road, Heltonville, IN 47436.

Before confirming your plans, ensure you check the pickup and drop-off policies with the marina or dock. Additionally, for boat launching on Lake Monroe, a launch permit is required, which can be obtained online through the Indiana DNR website or in person at the Lake Monroe office.

Additional Permits/Licenses:

Before you offer any services on Monroe Lake, you may need to obtain additional permits or licenses. For more information, please contact the local government in the area where you plan to operate and also the DNR.

  • Passenger for Hire Permit:Any person or entity intending to operate a passenger-for-hire watercraft on Monroe Lake must obtain a permit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR).This mandatory permit ensures the safe and compliant operation of these watercraft, adhering to all relevant regulations.
  • Lake Permit: An annual lake permit is required for all watercraft, including personal watercraft, motorboats, kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats, when used on state parks, state-managed lakes, state forest lakes, and Division of Outdoor Recreation lakes. You can purchase the permit online at the DNR Customer Service Center,
  • Concessions Permit: To operate a boat rental business on Monroe Lake, a concessions permit is required from the Department of Natural Resources. Applicants must submit a proposal that outlines their experience in boat rentals, the types of boats they intend to rent, and the proposed rental rates. The DNR will then review the proposal to determine whether or not to issue the permit. More information can be found on the DNR website

Helpful Resources:

The following is a summary of commercial boating regulations on Monroe Lake. Please note that these regulations may not cover all applicable rules. For a more comprehensive understanding of the regulations,please consult the USACE, USCG, and DNR.