Need a License to Drive a Boat in NY

Need a License to Drive a Boat in NY

New York is popular for its skyscrapers and billboards, but it also features an abundance of beautiful waterways, including the Long Island Sound, St. Lawrence Rivers, Atlantic Ocean, and Hudson.

There are also hundreds of lakes to enjoy in the Finger Lakes, Adirondacks, Great Lakes, and Barge Canal, including a plethora of other rivers, streams, and lakes. Boat owners can relax and unwind over the weekend by cruising over the water, releasing the tension and stresses of the week.

The NY Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation wants to give its citizens an opportunity to go away when they need to, providing a safe and comfortable environment for recreational boating. However, the question remains, “Do you need a license to drive a boat in NY?”

If the boat has a motor, ny boater license is required. If you’re going to be using a kayak, standup paddleboard, sailboat, canoe, rowboat, or other watercraft without a motor, you won’t need a boating safety license or certificate.

Let’s look at the answer, as well as some other key considerations if you wish to enjoy the state’s numerous rivers by boat.

Do You Need a License to Drive a Boat in NY?

New York Boating Safety Certificate

A NY Boating Safety Certificate is required by the New York State for certain boat drivers and operators. However, if you want to use your personal boat for recreational purposes, the state, like most others, does not require a license.

Do you need a license to drive a boat in NY? If you want to operate a boat professionally, such as for tourist tours, commercial workboats like tugboats and ferries, or commissioned fishing, several licenses have strict requirements.

The US Power Squadrons, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, and US Powerboating all provide safety certificates that are recognized by the New York State. Residents of New York State are permitted to obtain Boating Safety Certificates from various certified online sources.

This certificate, which is frequently misunderstood for a license, certifies that the holder has completed an approved New York Safe Boating course. If you are operating a powered watercraft, also known as a PWC, you must carry the Boating Safety Certificate with you; otherwise, you will be subject to hefty fines.

Those born on or after May 1, 1996, must finish a state-approved boating safety course and obtain the New York Boating Safety Certificate before operating a vehicle for water travel. Before operating a personal watercraft on New York State waterways, everyone, regardless of age, must pass a Boating Safety Education Course.

Going to is one of the most convenient ways to obtain a New York boater education card. You may study on your own schedule with AceBoater and only pay when you pass the exam. After that, you can print your lifetime certificate and begin boating on New York’s beautiful waters. is another option for obtaining a New York boating license.

On May 1, 2014, the New York Boating Safety course was established to accommodate people who were unable to attend the course in person. All people born on or after May 1, 1996, must complete this safety course in order to operate personal watercraft or motorboats in New York.

How to Obtain a License to Drive a Boat in New York?

You can obtain a New York Boater Education Card with these three simple steps:

  1. Paying a one-time payment of $29.95, which entitles the payor to unlimited free retakes of the final test (if necessary).
  2. Studying and passing the final exam of the New York Boating Safety Course.
  3. Immediately printing a temporary card after passing the final exam. Within 3-5 weeks, you should receive your permanent card in the mail.

Individuals below 18 years old who have not completed a boating safety course may only operate a boat under the direct supervision of someone 18 years of age or older. A minimum of 14 years of age is required for potential operators. Before someone can operate a personal watercraft in NY state, they must first complete and pass a Boating Safety Education Course.