Virginia Beach, nestled along the Atlantic Ocean, offers a haven for maritime enthusiasts. With its expansive shoreline, the city is home to various boat launches and marinas, providing a paradise for boating aficionados. Boasting diverse waterways and scenic landscapes, Virginia Beach provides ample opportunities for boat rentals and charters, allowing individuals to immerse themselves in its captivating surroundings and abundant wildlife.

All operators affiliated with Getmyboat are obligated to conduct their operations in strict accordance with local guidelines, guaranteeing full compliance with legal prerequisites. In Virginia Beach, this includes the acquisition of proper registrations, passes, and permits, along with meeting the necessary criteria for both vessels and captains. Operators are also required to adhere to the designated use of docks and specified boating areas for commercial activities, as stipulated by local laws and facility regulations.


Boating operations must possess a current and valid registration. The State of Virginia provides a dedicated resource to assist in determining the necessary steps for registering your vessel.

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources


Insurance is required for all commercial vessels operating in Virginia Beach. This obligation extends to vessels employed for hire, including charter boats and water taxis, as well as those utilized for commercial purposes like fishing boats and towboats. For guidance in selecting the optimal insurance coverage for your business, get in touch with our partner, Boat Charter Insurance.

Captain's Licensing:

Captains are required to possess a valid US Coast Guard license tailored to the size and type of the vessel under their command. For vessels accommodating up to six passengers, a 6-pack license is obligatory, whereas those with more than six passengers necessitate a Master Captain's license. The captain bears the responsibility for ensuring the safety of both the charter vessel and all individuals aboard. For additional details regarding captain's licenses, we recommend visiting the Mariners Learning System website. Apply the code GETMYBOAT10 to enjoy a 10% discount.

Determine what captain license is required for your boat rentals by reading the following articles below:

  • Captain included in the price
  • Captain arranged separately
  • Captain not included

Boaters Education:

All operators of personal watercraft (PWC) aged 14 and above, as well as operators of motorboats with 10 horsepower or more, irrespective of age, are required to complete a boating safety course. To acquire this boater's education, you can locate a suitable course through Boat-Ed.

Those renting personal watercraft must provide renters with instructions on Commonwealth motorboat laws, the specific operation of the rented watercraft, mandatory safety equipment, accident reporting procedures, and any additional information required by the Director. The Director must approve the content and instructional methods.

Boat Permits:

Permits are required for all boats in Norfolk’s Reservoirs, including canoes, kayaks, and motorized boats.

Boat Permits are available for purchase at the following locations

  • Customer Service Counter at Norfolk City Hall
  • Department of Utilities
  • Oceans East Bait & Tackle
  • G’Daddy’s Bait and Tackle

Safety Checklist Program:

  • Businesses renting or leasing motorboats with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater must provide operators with a dockside safety checklist, consisting of information on Virginia boating laws and safe boat operation.
  • Authorized operators must review and initial each item on the checklist before operating the rented or leased boat.
  • The dockside safety checklist, along with the rental or lease agreement, must be retained on board the boat during operation.
  • Exemptions from the checklist requirements are granted to individuals with documented boating safety education, valid licenses, or specific certifications, as outlined in the regulations.
  • Under certain circumstances, a person may be allowed to operate a rented/leased boat without completing the dockside safety checklist if operating under the direct supervision of a qualified individual or in cases of assisting an operator with illness or physical impairment.

Pick up and Drop off points:

Lake Lawson / Lake Smith Natural Area:

  • Situated in the Bayside Borough of Virginia Beach at the intersection of Shell Road and Northampton Blvd. All boats must possess a valid City of Norfolk Boat Permit, as the reservoirs of Lake Smith/Lake Lawson fall under the governance of the City of Norfolk. There is no fee for launching.

Lynnhaven Boat Ramp & Beach Facility:

  • Featuring four concrete boat launch lanes for convenient access to the Chesapeake Bay, this facility requires launch fees.

Munden Point Park:

  • This park not only provides access to the North Landing River for boat, kayak, or canoe launches but also offers traditional park amenities such as ball fields, basketball and volleyball courts, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and a disc golf course. No fee is charged for launching.

Owl Creek Boat Ramp:

  • Equipped with four concrete boat launch lanes and associated temporary mooring areas, Owl Creek Boat Ramp offers direct access to Rudee Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. There is no fee for launching.

Pungo Ferry Landing Park:

  • Featuring a boat ramp for access to the North Landing River, Pungo Ferry Landing Park does not impose a fee for launching.

Additional Resources

Code of Virginia Boating Laws