Iowa SUP Laws

  • PFD Requirement:  One Type I, II, III, or V PFD life jacket on board per person. And children under 13 must wear a USCG-approved PFD.
  • Alcohol Law Iowa has laws prohibiting Boating While Intoxicated (BWI)—0.08% BAL is considered intoxicated, as is having any amount of a controlled substance in blood or urine.
  • Lights: Every vessel less than 16 feet in length, in all weather, from sunrise to sunset, while underway and at anchor, shall carry and exhibit a bright white light aft to show 360 degrees.
  • Sounding Devices – If on state controlled waters in Iowa: vessels less than 16 feet long are not required to carry a sound producing device, though at least a whistle is recommended
  • Registration – SUPs, Kayaks and canoes that are 13 feet long or less, and have no motor or sail, are exempted from registration.
  • Operator Licensing – No restrictions for non-motorized vehicles
  • Visual Distress Signaling- Visual Distress Signals are not required on Iowa state waters, though they are recommended. On federally controlled waters (coastline), all vessels are required to carry U.S. Coast Guard-approved night VDS devices. Manually propelled vessels are not required to carry day signaling devices.
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