New York Safe Boating Course
safety certificate may be obtained by completing the New York
Safe Boating Course, sponsored by the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic
Preservation. The course is designed as a comprehensive boating
course, teaching the fundamentals of safe boating operation.
Approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators,
the course requires a minimum of eight hours of classroom instruction,
and includes the following topics:
- Accidents & Emergencies
- Boats & Motors
- Fueling & Ventilation
- Numbering & Registration
of the Road
Loading & Powering
instructors throughout the state teach the course free of
charge. Other providers may teach the New York Safe Boating
Course for a fee. You should always check while registering
for a course if there is a fee involved. If you complete
a course of less than eight (8) hours, you may not be eligible
for a safety certificate. Please contact this office at (518)474-0445
if that occurs.
Requirements - Persons Required to Complete a
You must hold a safety certificate if:
operate a personal watercraft and are at least 14 years of
age. Until 2009 operators age 10-13 can still operate with
restrictions. Click on Navigation Law updates for complete
You wish to operate a motorboat (including personal watercraft) and you are
at least 10 years old and less than 18 years old.
If you are less 10 years old you may operate a motorboat (non-PWC) only if
someone over 18 or someone between the ages of 10 and 18 who holds a safety
certificate, is on board with you. Anyone may operate a personal watercraft
if someone at least 18 years old is riding on the craft and they hold a safety
A boating safety certificate may also be obtained through the U.S. Coast
Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron. For information on where to take
their courses, please call 1-800-336-BOAT.
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 State Safe Boating Text Book