Regulations

Connecticut Boating Regulations and Laws

The Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate (SBC) or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO), also referred to as the Connecticut boating license, are required to operate any recreational vessel or personal watercraft on Connecticut's waters. To obtain these certificates, you must pass an approved classroom course and final proctored exam, or pass the Equivalency Exam proctored by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. All boaters must carry the certificate on board when the vessel is underway.

Who needs a Safe Boating Certificate or a Certificate of Personal Watercraft?

The following persons must have a Safe Boating Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft to operate any boat with an engine, motor or a sailboat 19 ½ feet in length or longer.

  • Residents of Connecticut
  • Owners of real property in Connecticut
  • Non-residents using their own registered vessel on Connecticut waters for more than 60 days in a year.

Note: Persons less than 12 years of age who have a Safe Boating Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation and are operating a boat with a motor greater than 10hp (not a PWC) are required to have a person on board at least 18 years of age who has a boating certificate.

How can I get a Safe Boating Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation?

You must successfully complete an in-person course and proctored final exam to obtain a Safe Boating Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation. Courses are offered by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP). For a list of courses available in your area, please visit DEEP online at www.ct.gov/dep/boating.

How can I prepare for the classroom course and proctored exam?

All the required safe boating training material to get your boater education card is available for free at BOATERexam.com®. Simply visit our Connecticut Safe Boating Study Guide section to gain access to the free training material. The Connecticut Safe Boating Study Guide is accredited by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.

Where can I get more information about Connecticut boating regulations and the Connecticut boater education card?

Answers to most of your questions can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page. You can visit The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection for additional information, or you can contact us and we will be glad to answer any of your questions.

Did you know?

Many boaters incorrectly use the term "Connecticut Boating License" when referring to their Boater Education Card. The Boater Education Card is NOT a boating license. Unlike a driver's license, your Boater Education Certificate cannot be revoked and is good for life.

Connecticut Boating Safety

An Educated Boater is a Safer Boater. By taking a boating safety course, you help ensure our waterways are the safest they can be. Not to mention, completing a course may reduce your boat insurance 10-15%!