Indiana Kayak Laws and Registration

There are lots of kayaking opportunities in Indiana for paddlers. A paddler can enjoy the beautiful view of rivers and lakes. Indiana has a lot of adventure to offer. However, before going out and start paddling in Indiana water you need to know about the state laws and regulations.

In order to help our fellow paddlers, I have decided to write a detailed guide on Indiana Kayak laws so that you can make your kayaking experience legal and safe.

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What are the Laws of Kayaking in Indiana?

Let’s start talking some law…

Law 1 – Always carry a wearable PFD (Portable Flotation Device)

In Indiana, you are supposed to always carry a wearable Portable Flotation Device (PFD) in your kayak for every person in your vessel. It applies to canoes as well.

If you have a kid on kayak who is under 13 then he/she is supposed to wear a PFD all the time while on the water.

Law 2 – Bright White Light Requirement While paddling in Night!

If you are planning to paddle in Night then you are supposed to carry a bright white light that is visible from up to 2 miles away. You may mount the light on your deck or handheld flashlight.

Law 3- Register Modified Kayak NOT Otherwise

In case, you have modified your kayak in any way like adding trolling motor or anything of that sort. Then you are supposed to register your kayak and you have to display the registration number on your kayak.

Law 4 – Permit Required to Paddle in state park, state forest or a public reservoir 

If you are planning to paddle in state Park, State forests or a public reservoir then you are supposed to take a permit to paddle. This permit are issued by Indiana Department of Natural Resources and it should always be displayed all the time you are on water. It applies to all modified and non- modified kayaks. A permit costs around $5.

Law 5 – Register all type of Motorized Boats

All type of motorized boats are supposed to be registered in Indiana.

Law 6 – Throwable Type IV PFD Requirement for a boat which is 16 feet or longer

If your boat is 16 feet or longer then you are supposed to carry a throwable Type IV PFD on board.

Law 7 – Operating or letting anyone to operate your vessel while Intoxicated is Illegal

It is illegal in Indiana to paddle while intoxicated or allowing someone to paddle while you are intoxicated. You can go to jail if you do so.

Top 5 Boating Violations | Indiana DNR – [VIDEO]


We on Kayak Review Online make sure that all the paddlers out there paddle safe and legally. Most of the kayaking rules and regulations are designed to ensure the safest paddling.

I am sure our Indiana Kayak Laws and Regulation guide must have helped you to paddle legally. Don’t forget to share this with folks in Indiana so that they can stay legal while paddling in Indiana.

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