New York Boating Laws and Regulations

Passing this Boating license course will complete your online safety education for New York.

Do you need New York Boating education?

New York

You need education in New York if you are at least 14 years old and will be operating a PWC or if you are at least 10 years old and born on or after May 1, 1996, will be unaccompanied, and will be operating another type of vessel.

You must be at least 10 years old to take this online course.

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

Elsewhere

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

Age and Operator Restrictions

A person at least 10 years old and born on or after May 1, 1996, may operate a recreational boat (other than a PWC) only if he or she:

  • Has passed a boating safety course approved by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and carries the New York State Boating Safety Certificate on board or…
  • Is accompanied on board by a person 18 years of age or older who either has a New York State Boating Safety Certificate on board or is not required to have a certificate.

A person at least 14 years old may operate a PWC only if he or she:

  • Has passed a boating safety course approved by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and…
  • Carries the New York State Boating Safety Certificate on board the PWC or is accompanied on board the PWC by a person 18 years of age or older who holds a New York State Boating Safety Certificate.

No person under the age of 14 may operate a PWC.

New York State Parks Adventure License Program

After successfully completing this course, you can choose to have your certification noted, as an anchor icon, on your NY driver’s license or other identification document issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The advantage is that you will no longer need to carry your boating safety certificate with you when boating, as long as you have your driver’s license with you. For more information, go to New York’s Adventure License webpage.

Enforcement

New York 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 York State Boating Safety Certificate is proof that you have successfully completed all of the components of an approved Boating safety course and allows you to operate on New York waters. The New York Adventure License program lets you choose to have your certification noted, as an anchor icon, on your NY driver’s license or other identification document issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Even if not required by law to get the New York 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 York an enjoyable pastime! Become an educated, responsible boater by completing the Boat New York course, and practice what you learn.

Reciprocity

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 York Boating students most frequently ask.

Frequently Asked Questions