Boating Laws and Regulations

New Jersey Boating Safety Education Requirements

All boaters on New Jersey's waters are required to carry the New Jersey Boating Safety Certificate when operating any powered vessel, including personal watercraft (PWC).

Exemptions to Education Requirement

You do not require a New Jersey Boating Safety Certificate if:

  • You hold a current valid U.S. Coast Guard Marine Operator's License
  • You are operating an un-powered vessel

Age Restrictions

  • No one under the age of 13 may operate any type of motor powered vessel on New Jersey's state waters. Boaters between the ages of 13 and 16 may only operate vessels powered by electric motors or vessels 12 feet or more in length with motors less than 10hp.
  • Children 12 years of age or under must wear a properly fitted Personal Flotation Device (life jacket) whenever the vessel is underway.

Note: While anyone can take the boater education course, students must be at least 12 years old in order to take the boater education exam for the state of New Jersey and must be 13 years of age to receive the New Jersey Safety Certificate. However, you are welcome to use this course as a study tool to learn more about boating safety!

Important Note

The online boating safety course covers a wide range of operating laws in New Jersey. For a complete listing of New Jersey's boat operating rules and regulations, please consult New Jersey's State Police Marine Services Bureau website at

Boating Safety Certificate

The boating safety certificate is proof that you have successfully completed an approved New Jersey boating safety course. The boating safety certificate does not expire and does not need to be renewed.