State Rep. Beau LaFave’s plan giving Michigan boaters the option to present electronic proof of their boating safety certifications was unanimously approved today by the Michigan House.
“It’s the 21st Century. We can do better than paper certificates that are destroyed the second they get wet,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “It’s time to give Michigan boaters and jet-skiers a modern alternative.”
Under the plan laid out in House Bills 5836, 5988 and 5989, boaters would be allowed to present electronic proof of their boater safety certificates when stopped by law enforcement. Officers would be able to temporarily take the boater’s electronic device to their vehicle or request the documentation be forwarded by email or text.
LaFave, who introduced the plan alongside two of his colleagues, said search and seizure protections are included to prevent officers from looking through phones if they are handed over for e-proof verification. The procedures are similar to those laid out in laws enacted in 2016 and 2017 allowing drivers to present electronic proofs of their vehicle insurance and registration.
Additionally, LaFave’s bill requires a law enforcement agency to waive any fines imposed for failing to provide a boater safety certificate if an individual can show proof of a valid boating safety certificate within 10 days of receiving the citation.
The legislation now meanders to the Senate for consideration.