Frequently Asked Questions about New York Boating Regulations & Laws
Q. What is the "New York Boating Safety Certificate"?
The Boating Safety Certificate is proof of successful completion of a boating education course covering all the basic rules of the water that all boaters should
know. The Boating Safety Certificate must be carried with you
whenever you are operating a powered watercraft to avoid high fines.
Q. Do I have to get the New York Boating Safety Certificate?
A.In order to operate a vessel on New York State (NYS) waters without adult supervision individuals must be at least 18 years of age or have successfully completed a Boating Safety Education Course and be between the ages of 10 and 18. Additionally, you must complete a Boating Safety Education Course
in order to operate a PWC on NYS waters. The required boating safety certificate must be carried at all times while operating the boat.
Q. How do I get my New York Boating Safety Certificate?
A. You must successfully complete an 8 hour classroom
course and proctored exam. To find a classroom course in areas of New York State, please visit: www.nysparks.com.
Q. What is the minimum age to operate a powered vessel in New York?
Individuals less than 18 years of age who have not successfully completed a boating safety course may only operate a vessel while under the direct supervision of an individual who is 18 years or age or older.
Q. What is the minimum age to operate a Personal Watercraft (PWC) in New York?
A. As of January 1, 2005 all personal watercraft operators must be 14 years of age or older and must successfully complete a Boating Safety Education Course to operate personal Watercraft in the state of New York.
Q. How much does the online course cost?
The New York Safe Boating Training Manual and practice quizzes found on this site are provided as a study tool for a classroom course at no charge.
Q. Is anyone exempt from getting the Boating Safety Certificate?
Yes. The following individuals are exempt from the PWC Educational requirements:
- Both U.S. and Canadian licensed commercial vessel operators,
- State certified instructors,
- Certified instructors of the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Power Squadrons,
- Police/peace officers, fire/rescue personnel and lifeguards acting pursuant to their assigned duties.
Q. What are the technical requirements for the online boating test?
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