New Orleans, a lively city in the southern US, is famous for its distinct culture, delectable cuisine, and vibrant festivals. Situated next to the picturesque Mississippi River, the city offers an ideal setting for various outdoor activities, notably boating. Exploring the waters in New Orleans offers a variety of activities, from relaxed river cruises to thrilling airboat excursions in the swamps. Tourists can engage in fishing, kayaking, and canoeing in the numerous water bodies surrounding the city.

Every Getmyboat operator is required to follow and ensure full compliance with local regulations. This includes obtaining the correct registrations and permits, and meeting the standards for vessels and captains. Commercial activities must be conducted from designated docks and in authorized boating zones, plus any other regulations required by local laws and facility rules. To help, we've compiled essential information for boating in New Orleans to assist you.


All commercial vessels operating in New Orleans must have insurance. This includes vessels used for hire, such as charter boats and water taxis, and vessels used for commercial purposes, such as fishing boats and towboats. If you need help choosing the best insurance policy for your business, please contact our partner, Boat Charter Insurance.

USCG Captain’s License:

Commercial boat operators in Louisiana need a US Coast Guard (USCG) license, the type of which depends on the specific activities they will be conducting. For example, charter boat captains need a USCG Merchant Mariner's License with a Boatswain's Mate - Operate Small Passenger Vessel Endorsement, while tour boat captains need a USCG Master's License with a Passenger Vessel Endorsement. More information can be found on the Mariners Learning System website. Use the code GETMYBOAT10 to receive a 10% discount.

Boater Safety Certificate:

People born after January 1, 1984 must complete an approved boater education course before operating a motorboat or personal watercraft over 10 horsepower.


All motorized boats and sailboats over 12 feet, and non-motorized houseboats must be registered with LDWF when in Louisiana waters. Fill out forms and show ownership documents for motorized boats. Registrations last three years; renew within 60 days of expiration to avoid cancellation. Renew at LDWF Headquarters in Baton Rouge in person, by mail, or online.

Additional Licenses/Permits:

  • Fishing License: To fish in Louisiana, you must obtain a license. Various licenses are offered based on the fishing type. Check the LDWF website for further details.
  • For-Hire/Charter Fishing License: Essential for those looking to operate a charter fishing vessel in Louisiana waters and charge customers for fishing activities.
  • Certified Charter Boat Fishing Guide: A Louisiana Certified Charter Fishing Guide endorsement is a special add-on to a regular For-Hire/Charter Fishing License. The LDWF issues it to charter fishing captains who make at least half of their money from charter fishing guide activities
  • Commercial License: A commercial vessel license allows individuals to operate a boat for commercial purposes, such as fishing, towing, or transporting passengers, in New Orleans and surrounding waters. To get a commercial vessel license in New Orleans, you must apply to the LDWF.
  • Occupational/General Business License: If you want to operate a business in Orleans Parish, you must obtain an Occupational or General Business license.

Pick Up / Drop off:

There are many marinas in New Orleans, including Pontchartrain Landing, Orleans Marina, South Shore Marina,and Lake Catherine Marina. These marinas can be used to pick up and drop off renters.

Helpful Resources:

It is important to note that these are just some of the commercial boating regulations in New Orleans, LA. There are many other regulations that may apply, depending on the specific activity that you are engaged in. For more information, please contact the LDWF or the U.S. Coast Guard.