PFD Regulations

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Wildlife Resources
Chapter 430. Watercraft: Safety Equipment Requirements

4VAC15-430-40. Personal flotation device exemptions.
A. The following vessels are not required to carry an additional throwable PFD.

1. Personal watercraft.

2. Nonmotorized canoes and kayaks 16 feet in length and over.

B. The following vessels are not required to carry any PFD:

1. Racing shells, rowing sculls, racing canoes, and racing kayaks while participating in or preparing and practicing for a race.

2. Sailboards.

C. Vessels of the United States used by foreign competitors while practicing for or racing in competition are not required to carry any PFD, provided the vessel carries one of the sponsoring foreign country’s acceptable flotation devices for each foreign competitor onboard.

Statutory Authority
ยง 29.1-701 and 29.1-735 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes
Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2003; Errata, 19:14 VA.R. 2176 March 24, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 9, eff. January 1, 2013; Volume 36, Issue 2, eff. October 1, 2019.