New Jersey Boating Laws and Regulations

Do you need New Jersey Boating education?

New Jersey

You need education if you will be operating a motorized vessel in New Jersey. Some operators may be required to get a non‐tidal boat license as well.

You must be at least 12 years old to take this online course.

You do not have to be a resident of New Jersey to take this online course.


Boating education is currently required in several U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

Age and Operator Restrictions

All operators must meet these age and education requirements in order to operate a motorized vessel.

  • A person less than 13 years of age may not operate a motorized vessel.
  • A person under the age of 16 may not operate a PWC.
  • A person 13 through 15 years of age may operate a vessel powered by an electric motor or vessels 12 feet or longer and powered by a motor less than 10 hp only if he or she has successfully passed a boating safety education course approved by the New Jersey State Police.
  • A person 16 years old or older, may operate a motorized vessel if they have successfully completed an approved boating safety course.

If you reside in New Jersey you must have a New Jersey certificate, even if you took a NASBLA-approved course in another state.


New Jersey law enforcement officers patrol the waterways to make your boating experience safe and pleasant. Cooperate with them by following the laws and guidelines.

Carry the Card: Vessel operators who are required to have a Boater Education Card must carry the card on board the vessel and have it available for inspection by an enforcement officer.

Penalty: Not carrying your Boater Education Card when one is required can result in a fine.

Is the Boating Card the same as the Boating License?

The New Jersey Boat Safety Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed an approved boating safety course and allows you to operate on New Jersey waters. It is commonly confused with a boating license, so learn more about the difference here.

Even if not required by law to get the New Jersey boating education card, many boaters take the boat safety course in order to save on their PWC or boat insurance.

Do your part to make boating in New Jersey an enjoyable pastime! Become an educated, responsible boater by completing the Boat New Jersey course, and practice what you learn.


For visiting boaters, all states, territories, and provinces will recognize boating education cards that meet NASBLA requirements and Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Cards that meet Transport Canada’s requirements. (This is known as “reciprocity.”)

Need help? Here are the answers to the questions New Jersey Boating students most frequently ask.

Frequently Asked Questions