Get a carbon monoxide warning sticker
Warning stickers are required by law
RCW 88.02.390 requires any new or used motor-driven vessel, other than a Jet Ski-type personal watercraft, to display a sticker that warns passengers of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
The CO warning sticker can be:
- The Washington State sticker shown above.
- A sticker installed by the manufacturer (if we've approved it).
- A sticker installed by another state (if we've approved it).
How to get a warning sticker
- If you buy a motor-driven boat from a dealer, the dealer will attach a CO warning sticker before the transaction is completed.
- If you own a motor-driven boat that is registered in Washington but don't have a CO warning sticker, you can request one from any vehicle/boat licensing office.
Where to attach the sticker
You must attach the sticker on the interior of the boat so it's clearly visible to the passengers.
Teak surfing refers to body surfing by holding on to the swim platform of a moving vessel. It is extremely dangerous because it puts the surfer directly in the path of the boat's exhaust and poisonous carbon monoxide. Teak surfing is a violation of Washington State law punishable by a fine of up to $100.
Frequently asked questions about CO poisoning
- What is carbon monoxide?
- Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas produced by burning carbon-based fuel such as gasoline, propane, charcoal, or oil. It may come from your boat's engine, gas generators, cooking ranges, grills, or space heaters.
- Why is CO so dangerous?
- Carbon monoxide enters your bloodstream through the lungs, blocking the oxygen your body needs. Prolonged exposure to low CO concentrations or very quick exposure to high CO concentrations can kill you.
- What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
- Symptoms are often confused with seasickness or intoxication, and include:
- Irritated eyes
- How can I protect myself and others?
- Know where your boat's exhaust outlets are located and keep everyone away from these areas.
- Install and maintain marine-grade approved CO detectors.
- Maintain your engine. Engines that aren't properly tuned produce more CO.
- What should I do if I suspect CO poisoning?
- Get everyone to fresh air right away.
- Call Washington Poison Center at 800.222.1222.
- If the person is unconscious, call 911.
- To learn more about teak surfing and how CO accumulates in boats, see the warning brochure, Boating and the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide.
- To get more information about CO, visit the US Coast Guard boating safety website.
- Resources for boaters (Discover Pass, fishing license, launch locations, and more)
- Get or update email renewal reminders
- Calculate your boat registration fees