The commissioner shall continue and expand the comprehensive boat safety and education program. The commissioner shall cooperate with boaters, governmental subdivisions, state agencies, other states, and the federal government in the operation of the program.
(a) The commissioner shall establish an educational course and a testing program for personal watercraft and watercraft operators and for persons age 12 or older but younger than age 18 required to take the watercraft safety course. The commissioner shall prescribe a written test as part of the course. A personal watercraft educational course and testing program that emphasizes safe and legal operation must be required for persons age 13 or older but younger than age 18 operating personal watercraft.
(b) The commissioner shall issue a watercraft operator's permit to a person age 12 or older but younger than age 18 who successfully completes the educational program and the written test.
The commissioner shall issue a watercraft operator's permit to a person who successfully qualifies for a watercraft operator's permit under the boat safety education program.
The commissioner may enter into reciprocity agreements or otherwise certify boat safety education programs from other states that are substantially similar to in-state programs. The commissioner shall issue a watercraft operator's permit to a person who provides proof of completion of a program subject to a reciprocity agreement or certified as substantially similar.