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Illinois Compiled Statutes

Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. Recent laws may not yet be included in the ILCS database, but they are found on this site as Public Acts soon after they become law. For information concerning the relationship between statutes and Public Acts, refer to the Guide.

Because the statute database is maintained primarily for legislative drafting purposes, statutory changes are sometimes included in the statute database before they take effect. If the source note at the end of a Section of the statutes includes a Public Act that has not yet taken effect, the version of the law that is currently in effect may have already been removed from the database and you should refer to that Public Act to see the changes made to the current law.

VEHICLES
(625 ILCS 45/) Boat Registration and Safety Act.

625 ILCS 45/Art. IV

 
    (625 ILCS 45/Art. IV heading)
ARTICLE IV. MOTORBOAT EQUIPMENT

625 ILCS 45/4-1

    (625 ILCS 45/4-1) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-1)
    Sec. 4-1. Personal flotation devices.
    A. No person may operate a watercraft unless at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD is on board, so placed as to be readily available for each person.
    B. No person may operate a personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft unless each person aboard is wearing a PFD approved by the United States Coast Guard. No person on board a personal watercraft shall use an inflatable PFD in order to meet the PFD requirements of subsection A of this Section.
    C. No person may operate a watercraft 16 feet or more in length, except a canoe or kayak, unless at least one readily accessible United States Coast Guard approved throwable PFD is on board.
    D. (Blank).
    E. When assisting a person on water skis, aquaplane or similar device, there must be one wearable United States Coast Guard approved PFD on board the watercraft for each person being assisted or towed or worn by the person being assisted or towed.
    F. No person may operate a watercraft unless each device required by this Section is:
        1. in serviceable condition;
        2. identified by a label bearing a description and
    
approval number demonstrating that the device has been approved by the United States Coast Guard;
        3. of the appropriate size for the person for whom it
    
is intended;
        4. in the case of a wearable PFD, readily accessible
    
aboard the watercraft;
        5. in the case of a throwable PFD, immediately
    
available for use;
        6. out of its original packaging; and
        7. not stowed under lock and key.
    G. Approved personal flotation devices are defined as a device that is approved by the United States Coast Guard under Title 46 CFR Part 160.
    H. (Blank).
    I. No person may operate a watercraft under 26 feet in length unless an approved and appropriate sized United States Coast Guard personal flotation device is being properly worn by each person under the age of 13 on board the watercraft at all times in which the watercraft is underway; however, this requirement shall not apply to persons who are below decks or in totally enclosed cabin spaces. The provisions of this subsection I shall not apply to a person operating a watercraft on an individual's private property.
    J. Racing shells, rowing sculls, racing canoes, and racing kayaks are exempt from the PFD, of any type, carriage requirements under this Section provided that the racing shell, racing scull, racing canoe, or racing kayak is participating in an event sanctioned by the Department as a PFD optional event. The Department may adopt rules to implement this subsection.
(Source: P.A. 100-469, eff. 6-1-18; 100-863, eff. 8-14-18.)

625 ILCS 45/4-2

    (625 ILCS 45/4-2) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-2)
    Sec. 4-2. Lights.
    A. It is unlawful to operate any vessel less than 39 feet in length unless the following lights are carried and displayed when underway from sunset to sunrise:
        1. A bright, white light after to show all around the
    
horizon, visible for a distance of 2 miles. The word "visible" as used herein means visible on a dark night with clear atmosphere.
        2. A combination light in the forepart of the boat
    
lower than the white light after, showing green to starboard and red to port, so fixed as to throw a light from dead ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on their respective sides and visible for a distance of not less than 1 mile.
        3. Lights under International Rules may be shown as
    
an alternative to the above requirements.
    B. Watercraft propelled by muscular power when underway shall carry on board from sunset to sunrise, but not fixed to any part of the boat, a lantern or flashlight capable of showing a white light visible all around the horizon at a distance of 2 miles or more, and shall display such lantern in sufficient time to avoid collision with another watercraft.
    C. Every vessel 39 feet or more in length shall carry and display when underway such additional or alternate lights as shall be required by the U. S. Coast Guard for watercraft of equivalent length and type.
    D. Sailboats equipped with motors and being propelled partly or solely by such motors shall carry and display the same lights required for motorboats of the same class. Sailboats being propelled entirely by sail between sunset and sunrise shall have lighted the combination running light, and a white light visible aft only. Sailboats 26 feet or more in length, equipped with motors but being propelled entirely by sail between sunset and sunrise, shall have lighted the colored side lights suitably screened, but not the white lights prescribed for motorboats.
    E. Dinghies, tenders and other watercraft, whose principal function is as an auxiliary to other larger watercraft, when so operating need carry only a flashlight visible to other craft in the area, anything in this section to the contrary notwithstanding.
    F. Vessels at anchor between the hours of sunset and sunrise, except those in a "Special Anchorage Area", shall display such anchor lights as shall be required by the U. S. Coast Guard for watercraft of equivalent length and type.
    G. Watercraft operated manually or by motor which are located on bodies of water where motors of over 7 1/2 horsepower are prohibited must be equipped during the hours between sunset and sunrise with a lantern or flashlight which is capable of showing a beam for 2 miles, anything in this Section to the contrary notwithstanding.
(Source: P.A. 88-524.)

625 ILCS 45/4-3

    (625 ILCS 45/4-3) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-3)
    Sec. 4-3. Mufflers.
    A. All motorboats shall be equipped and maintained with an effective muffler or underwater exhaust system. For the purpose of this Section, an effective muffler or underwater exhaust system is one that does not produce sound levels that create excessive or unusual noise, or sound levels that are in excess of 90 decibels when subjected to a stationary sound level test as prescribed by the Society of Automotive Engineers in its procedure J2005.
    B. No person may operate a motorboat on the waters of this State in a manner to exceed a noise level of 75 decibels measured as specified in the Society of Automotive Engineers in its procedure J1970 from any point on the shoreline, or from any point on the water within 20 feet of the shoreline, of the body of water on which the motorboat is being operated.
    C. No person may manufacture or offer for sale any motorboat for use on the waters of this State if that motorboat cannot be operated in compliance with the sound levels in subsections A and B above.
    D. The provisions of this Section shall apply to all public waters over which the State has jurisdiction.
    E. This Section does not apply to:
        (1) a motorboat tuning up for or participating in
    
official trials for a sanctioned race or regatta conducted as authorized by the appropriate unit of government, or
        (2) a motorboat being operated by a boat or marine
    
engine manufacturer for the purpose of testing or development as authorized by the appropriate unit of government.
    F. Any person violating subsection A or B of this Section shall be required to:
        (1) install an effective muffler system on the
    
motorboat in violation;
        (2) pass the sound level test prescribed by the
    
Society of Automotive Engineers in its procedure J2005 before putting the motorboat back into use; and
        (3) be subject to a Class B misdemeanor for the first
    
offense and a Class A misdemeanor for any subsequent offense occurring within 3 years of the date of the most recent offense.
    G. Any person violating subsection C of this Section shall be required to:
        (1) install an effective muffler system on the
    
motorboat in violation;
        (2) pass the sound level test prescribed by the
    
Society of Automotive Engineers in its procedure J2005 before putting the motorboat back into use; and
        (3) be subject to a Class A misdemeanor for the first
    
offense and a Class 4 felony for any subsequent offense.
    H. Any person who operates any motorboat upon the waters of this State shall be deemed to have given consent to the test or tests as may be prescribed in this Section or by the Department to determine if the motorboat is in compliance with the provisions of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 87-391; 87-422; 87-895.)

625 ILCS 45/4-4

    (625 ILCS 45/4-4) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-4)
    Sec. 4-4. Whistles.) It is unlawful to operate a motorboat without a mouth, hand or power operated whistle, horn or other appliance, capable of producing a blast of 2 seconds or more duration and audible for at least one-half mile.
(Source: P.A. 82-783.)

625 ILCS 45/4-5

    (625 ILCS 45/4-5) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-5)
    Sec. 4-5. Fire extinguisher. It is unlawful to operate a motorboat equipped with an internal combustion engine anywhere in this State without at least one U. S. Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher, so placed as to be readily accessible and in such condition as to be ready for immediate and effective use.
(Source: P.A. 85-149.)

625 ILCS 45/4-6

    (625 ILCS 45/4-6) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-6)
    Sec. 4-6. Carburetor arrestors. Carburetors on all engines of motorboats other than those propelled by a detachable outboard motor shall be fitted with or protected by a U. S. Coast Guard approved device for arresting backfire.
(Source: P.A. 82-783.)

625 ILCS 45/4-7

    (625 ILCS 45/4-7) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-7)
    Sec. 4-7. Ventilators. Except for open boats, all motorboats which use fuel having a flashpoint of 110 degrees Fahrenheit or less shall have at least 2 ventilator ducts, fitted with cowls or their equivalent, for the efficient removal of explosive or flammable gases from the bilges of every engine and fuel tank compartment. There shall be at least one exhaust duct installed so as to extend from the open atmosphere to the lower portion of the bilge and at least one intake duct installed so as to extend to a point at least midway to the bilge or at least below the level of the carburetor air intake. The cowls shall be located and trimmed for maximum effectiveness and in such a manner so as to prevent displaced fumes from being recirculated.
(Source: P.A. 82-783.)

625 ILCS 45/4-8

    (625 ILCS 45/4-8) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-8)
    Sec. 4-8. Sirens and flashing lights.
    (a) Except as provided in this Section, it shall be unlawful for any person to use a watercraft equipped with a siren or any red or blue oscillating, rotating, or flashing light. The use of a siren or light in violation of this Section shall constitute a public nuisance subject to confiscation and disposal as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction.
    (b) Any authorized emergency watercraft described in subsection (c) or (d) may be equipped with a siren, but the siren shall not be used except when the watercraft is operating in response to an emergency call or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law.
    (c) The use of blue oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except on law enforcement watercraft of State, federal, or local authorities.
    (d) The use of red oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except on fire, rescue, or other emergency watercraft as authorized by State, federal, or local authorities having jurisdiction, provided the watercraft are clearly identifiable as such; the lights shall not be lighted except when responding to an emergency call or while actually engaged in a hazardous situation.
    (e) The use of any other color of oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights, whether lighted or unlighted, is prohibited except as authorized by the Department.
(Source: P.A. 88-524.)

625 ILCS 45/4-9

    (625 ILCS 45/4-9) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-9)
    Sec. 4-9. Sealing of marine heads. No marine head (toilet) on any watercraft used upon waters of this State may be so constructed and operated as to permit the discharge of any sewage into the waters directly or indirectly.
(Source: P.A. 88-524.)

625 ILCS 45/4-10

    (625 ILCS 45/4-10) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-10)
    Sec. 4-10. Battery Covers. Every motorboat equipped with storage batteries shall be provided with suitable supports and secured against shifting with the motion of the boat. Such storage batteries shall be equipped with non-conductive shielding means to prevent accidental shorting of battery terminals.
(Source: P.A. 82-783.)

625 ILCS 45/4-11

    (625 ILCS 45/4-11) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 314-11)
    Sec. 4-11. Engine cut-off switch.
    (a) As used in this Section:
    "Engine cut-off switch link" means the lanyard or wireless cut-off device used to attach the motorboat operator to the engine cut-off switch installed on the motorboat.
    "Engine cut-off switch" means an operational emergency cut-off engine stop switch installed on a motorboat that attaches to a motorboat operator by an engine cut-off switch link.
    (b) No person may operate any motor boat, including personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft, equipped with an engine cut-off switch while the engine is running and the motorboat is underway without verifying that the engine cut-off switch is operational and fully-functional and:
        (1) the engine cut-off switch link is properly
    
attached to his or her person, clothing or worn PFD, as appropriate for the specific vessel; or
        (2) activating the wireless cut-off system.
(Source: P.A. 96-1033, eff. 7-14-10.)

625 ILCS 45/4-12

    (625 ILCS 45/4-12)
    Sec. 4-12. Visual distress signals. It is unlawful to operate any watercraft on the waters of Lake Michigan without having onboard visual distress signals as required and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, so placed as to be readily accessible and in such condition as to be ready for immediate and effective use.
(Source: P.A. 88-524.)