SAFE BOATING CERTIFICATE (SBC)
Any resident of the state, person owning real property in the state or a person owning a boat required to be registered or numbered in the state must obtain a Safe Boating Certificate (SBC) or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO) before operating any vessel. Owner/operators of documented vessels or out-of-state registered vessels (not personal watercraft) may use their vessel on Connecticut waters for no more than 60 days in a calendar year without registering it. Once the vessel is registered, the owner/operator is required to obtain a SBC or CPWO.
To obtain a SBC an individual must successfully complete an approved boating course, pass a written examination that is proctored, and submit an application to the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) accompanied by a fee of $50.00, OR successfully pass an equivalency exam ($50.00 fee) administered by the DEEP. Any holder of a SBC or CPWO must have that certificate in their possession whenever operating a vessel. The SBC will allow the boater to operate any recreational vessel except a personal watercraft (PWC).
A SBC may be issued to any applicant regardless of age. Any boater less than 12 years old who possesses a SBC or CPWO may operate a boat up to 10 HP alone. To operate a boat over 10 HP, the child operator must be accompanied by an adult (18+ years of age) who also possesses a SBC or CPWO.
The SBC or CPWO is valid for the life of the person to whom it is issued. Anyone holding a current Master, Mate or Pilot license issued by the US Coast Guard may operate a recreational vessel (not a personal watercraft) without a SBC. They must carry a copy of their current license onboard.