In 2024, all operators of motorized vessels born on or after January 1, 1978 need to carry a safe boating certificate while operating. Starting January 1, 2025, a safety certificate will be required of all operators, regardless of age.
A safe day on the water is a fun day on the water! To help ensure our waterways remain safe and enjoyable, New York State will require all motorized boaters to take a safe boating course and earn their safe boating certificate by 2025.
The New York Safe Boating Course teaches basic boating skills and encourages common sense and courtesy to all who share the water. Boaters can earn their certificate by taking a classroom course with certified New York State instructors or through approved online courses. Certificates issued by the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, America's Boating Club, US Powerboating (These classes are also offered by Waterfront | SUNY Maritime College) and any NASBLA certified course from other states are also recognized.
Courses are available both in person and online so that you can choose the course the best fits your needs. You must be at least 10 years old to take a safe boating course.
Classroom courses are offered around the state by our certified and experienced instructors. Classroom courses are a great opportunity for boaters of all ages, especially first time and youth boaters, to earn their certificates. Please note that some instructors may charge an instructional fee. Fees paid to your instructor do not include the fee for a permanent certificate for students age 18 and older. Click here to find a classroom course
With an approved online course, learning is completed online and successful completion of unit exams is required in order to advance through the course. Fees paid to the online provider include the cost of your permanent certificate issued by the provider.
Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for more information about online boating education courses
Boating safety certificates are required for recreational boaters using motorized vessels, including personal watercraft. Operators of non-motorized boats, such as kayaks and canoes, are not required to have a boating safety certificate at this time.
Other things to know about Boating Safety Certificates
If you have a lifetime recreation certificate or sporting license, your New York State Driver License can now become an all-purpose boating, fishing, hunting and parks ID card. Anyone successfully completing the New York Safe Boating Course or approved online boating safety course may opt to have the anchor icon placed on your NYS DMV issues document. DMV will maintain a record of your having completed the boating safety course, and automatically place the icon on your license each time it is renewed.
The advantage to this program is that you will no longer need to carry your boating safety certificate with you when boating, provided you have your DMV credential with you. DMV will maintain a record of your having completed the boating safety course, and automatically place the icon on your license each time it is renewed.
If you would like a new driver's license issued immediately, the cost is $12.50. If you would like to wait until your next, regularly scheduled license renewal, there is no charge. There are several ways to apply:If you took a New York State Parks Classroom Course:
Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for more information before you call DMV.