New York State Legal Requirements Motorboats New Law Effective May 1st 2014



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New York State Legal Requirements

Motorboats

New Law Effective May 1st 2014
All individuals born on or after 5/1/96 are now required to successfully complete an approved course in boater education in order to operate a motorboat. Approved courses include those offered by NYS Parks, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadron. Individuals less than 10 years of age may not take this course of instruction. Certain allowances to this law have been made for visitors to New York, persons renting a boat from a livery and persons purchasing a new boat for the first time. Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for more information. Find a Boating Safety Course near you.

Personal Watercraft

Operators may not operate a Personal Watercraft (JetSki, SeaDoo, etc.) unless they are at least 14 years of age and hold a boater safety certificate issued by State Parks, the USCG Auxiliary or the US Power Squadron for having completed a an 8-hour classroom based course of instruction.

A person without a safety certificate may operate a PWC when accompanied by someone over 18 years of age who is the holder of a boater safety certificate. For the purposes of this section, "accompanied" shall mean upon the same PWC.

Non-Residents

A boating safety certificate issued to a resident of another state or country is acceptable provided the certificate is carried while operating in New York State. Please note the certificate must be issued by the state or country of residence, and should be NASBLA approved.



New York Safe Boating Course

This course is designed as a comprehensive boating safety course, teaching the fundamentals of safe boating operation and has been approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).



  • Students must be at least 10 years of age to attend the course.

  • This course requires a minimum of 8 hours of classroom instruction.

  • Students must pass a final exam with a score of 76%.

  • Courses are available throughout the state. The course listing is updated regularly.

  • You must register for a course by calling the contact number provided.

  • An instructor may or may not charge a fee for the course. If a fee is charged, they may vary. Some courses may be taught by volunteers free of charge.

  • Students will receive a temporary boating safety certificate upon completion of the course.

  • Students 18 years of age and older will be required to pay a $10 fee to NYS for issuance of a permanent boating safety certificate.

  • Permanent boating safety certificates do not expire.

A copy of the second edition of the "New York Safe Boating Textbook: A Course on the Safe Operation of Boats and Personal Watercraft" can be downloaded to your computer, phone, or tablet. Hard copy textbooks will be available at the class for those who would like one. We are encouraging our students to be green by using the electronic copy of the textbook. Let your instructor know at the time of registration if you will be using an electronic textbook.

- See more at: http://nysparks.com/recreation/boating/education.aspx#sthash.8qUh2ijm.dpuf

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Boater Education Law mean to New Yorkers?Those born on or after May 1, 1996 will need to complete an approved course in order to operate a mechanically propelled boat. For those born before that date, no course is required. All operators of a personal watercraft (PWC) will continue to need to complete a course, and be at least 14 years of age.

What courses are acceptable? Can I take an on-line course?Only certificates issued by New York State, the USCG Auxiliary or the US Power Squadron are acceptable. State law requires that the New York Safe Boating Program includes at least eight hours of classroom instruction, and a proctored exam. On-line courses are not accepted at this time.

I just bought a boat; will I need a course immediately?No. You would have 120 days in which to complete a course if you are required to have a certificate.

Will I need a course in order to rent a motorboat in New York?No. If you are at least 18 years old, you may rent without completing a course. The livery should demonstrate how to properly use the boat before renting it however. Persons under the age of 18 may only rent a motorboat if they hold a safety certificate.

How do I find courses?Select the link below. This will bring you to the master list of all publicly offered New York Safe Boating Courses. If there are no courses in your area, check back often; the course list is updated every Friday. Courses are most often available during the beginning of the year, January - April.

Boating Safety Course Availability

How do I find out if there is a fee for the class?You must call the instructor contact number listed on the web site to register for your course. At that time you should ask the contact if there is a fee for that course. You should also inquire about the number of sessions for that particular course, and the times of each session. Be advised: apart from any fee the instructor may charge there will be a $10 fee paid directly to NYS Parks for permanent certification of students 18 and older.

My class lasted less than eight (8) hours. Should I be concerned?Possibly. The New York Safe Boating Course is designed to last eight (8) hours as a minimum, including the final exam. If your course takes less time there is the possibility that you may be denied your safety certificate. If you have any concerns regarding the length of your course, please contact this office at (518)474-0445.

I'm visiting New York. Will my safety certificate from my home state be sufficient?Yes, provided it was issued from your current state of residence, and the course was approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators. Look for the NASBLA logo on your certificate.

Can I use my NY safety certificate in other states?Yes. Because the New York Safe Boating Course is NASBLA approved it is accepted in other states and Canada.


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