With over 171 lakes and 35,000 km of shoreline, it’s no wonder that so many Australians love their boats. Whether fishing, water skiing, diving, or just cruising, boats have become an integral part of Australian culture, and are enjoyed by millions of us.1
But can u drive a boat without a license? Unfortunately not. Australia is a land of rules, and boating is no exception.
If you’re looking to become a boat owner, and are wondering how to get a boating license, we’ll explain how in this article.
How to get a boat license in QLD
In Queensland, if you’re operating a boat with an engine power greater than 4.5kW, you need a marine license. You’ll also need to be at least 16 years old.
The process is split into two parts. First, you’ll need to complete a BoatSafe course, which will teach you the theoretical and practical skills required for operating a boat. You can find a BoatSafe course trainer with a quick Google search.
Once you’ve completed your BoatSafe course, you can apply for a marine license at your nearest transport and motoring customer service centre, or QGAP office. After making an appointment, you’ll need to take the following with you:
- A completed marine licence application (F2334)
- Proof of identity
- Your original statement of competency from your BoatSafe training provider
- The $114.90 license fee
How to get boat license NSW
In NSW, if you’re operating a boat that is going faster than 18.5km, you’ll need a general boat driving license. The minimum age requirement for this license is 12 years old, although restrictions apply if you’re under 16.
Before applying for a license, you’ll need to get training/experience in one of two ways:
1. Practical boating experience
You can get practical boating experience with an experienced skipper, which includes a minimum of three trips in a power vessel. You can complete this experience through any registered training provider.
2. Boating training
You can complete boating training with a registered training provider.
Once you’ve completed either boating experience or boating training, you’ll need to complete a boat license knowledge test with the NSW government. You can book the test and get more information about it here.
How to get a boat license in Victoria
If you’re operating a registered boat in Victoria, you’ll need a marine license. The minimum age requirement for this license is 12 years old.
Victoria doesn’t require experience or training to operate a boat, just an eyesight test, and a successful marine license knowledge test, which you get more information about here.
How to get a boat license in WA
You need a boat licence (Recreational Skipper’s Ticket) in Victoria when the following criteria are met:
- The boat is registered with the Department of Transport
- The boat is used for recreational purposes
- The boat has an engine 4.5kW of greater
To be eligible for a boat license, you must be at least 14 years old.
As with Victoria, you don’t need boating experience or training to attain the boat license. You just need complete an assessment, and provide the following as part of your application:
- Proof of eyesight requirements
- A declaration of medical fitness
- Proof of identity
- Letter of consent (if younger than 18)
For the remaining Australian states, you can get more information on how to get a boat license on the following pages: