Boat licence requirements vary in each State of Australia
Each State and Territory within Australia has different laws regarding commercial and recreational boat licences or boat license – (we include both forms of spelling for our international guests). You can select your State or Territory and find detailed information on the boat licence requirements that a motor boat operator needs to meet in order to get out on the water and boating safely around the Australian coast.
Some other frequently asked questions are:
Can I use a boat licence in another State?
Most States acknowledge the boating licences of other states for a period of time (usually around 3 months) but be sure to check with the Maritime/Boating Authority in your State beforehand for interstate boat license and boat operator requirements.
Can I use an Australian boat licence in overseas in the waters of another Country?
It largely depends on the countries to which you are heading – or intend boating in. It is best to check directly with Maritime Authorities of each intended country of passage – well in advance.
Can I use an overseas boat license in Australia?
If you have obtained an license in another Country but would like to go boating in Australian waters – generally speaking you will need to obtain the appropriate license locally for the Australian State waters you will be boating in. Some States recognise international boat licenses for a period of time and others do not. Visit the State links below for more detailed information.
Do I really need to get a boat licence?
Consider this: Would you get behind the wheel of a car – for the first time in your life – in another country – and head straight out on the highway? Hopefully not!
The ‘rules’ of boating are the opposite to the rules of driving on the road in Australia. At the very least, it’s important to understand these rules – for the safety of yourself, crew, other boaters – and your boats.
If you’re just looking to drive a small boat and/or don’t think you will need a license it is still wise get one. By attending a course and taking the subsequent license test, you will learn lots of interesting and valuable information on safe boating, driving and navigation, which may save your life or someone else’s.
Note: Boat licence requirements for the ACT are the same as NSW
If you are operating a boat with a motor you must have a licence. Getting your boat licence is a two step process, similar to getting your car drivers licence.
If you are operating a boat in QLD with a motor greater than 4.5kW (6 HP) you must have a licence and you must have a personal watercraft (PWC) licence to operate a personal watercraft (such as jet skis).
A licence is require in Tasmania when operating a vessel with a motor of 4hp or greater. As of 1st November, 2004 the way a person gets a motor boat licence in Tasmania has changed.
As of 1 April 2008, every skipper of a registerable recreational vessel powered by a motor greater than 6 hp will be required to hold a Recreational Skipper’s Ticket.
If you are operating a boat with a motor you must have a licence. This is regardless of size of the boat or the engine, or whether the engine is being used at the time.