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New York Online Boating Safety Course & Certificate

Drive a Boat USA is an official online provider of the New York Boater Safety Course approved by New York State Parks. Certain boaters are required to take a safety course, pass an exam and obtain their boating safety certificate in order to operate a motorized vessel in New York State, and all will be required to do so by 2025.

Get your New York Safe Boating Certificate in 3 simple steps

Our New York Boating Safety Course is approved by New York State Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation Department. It includes a comprehensive series of engaging and instructive videos and quizzes to prepare you for your New York boater exam.

Step 1: Study the safe boating course

By completing our approved boating safety course, you will gain all of the knowledge you need to pass the boater exam and obtain your boating safety certificate.

Step 2: Take the official boater exam

Once your safety education course is complete and you feel ready, take the boater exam online. The exam is open-book and your course fee includes unlimited retries!

Step 3: Obtain your New York State safe boating certificate

After passing the exam, you will be able to print a temporary certificate right away. You can obtain the official boating education card by mail or on your driver’s license. Now you’re ready to go boating!

The New York State Adventure License

New York State offers recreational certificate holders the option of adding the credential to their driver’s license to avoid the hassle of carrying multiple certificates. The boating safety certificate is represented on the driver’s license as an anchor icon, and can be obtained from the DMV.

Boating safety course approved by New York State Parks

Drive a Boat USA is an official provider of the New York Safe Boating Course approved by New York State Parks.

Accessible on all devices

The Drive a Boat USA boating safety course can be studied at your own pace on your preferred device, whether desktop, laptop, mobile phone or tablet.

New York boating license FAQ

In 2020, a new law came into effect requiring recreational boaters to take a boating safety course and obtain a boating card before operating a motorized vessel. The requirement, called Brianna’s Law, is being phased in gradually by age, and will be fully implemented by 2025.

People in the following age groups will need to obtain their boating safety certificate by the year listed:

∙       2022: Those born on or after January 1, 1988

∙       2023: Those born on or after January 1, 1983

∙       2024: Those born on or after January 1, 1978

∙       2025: All motorized boat operators, regardless of age

You’ll need to study the New York Safe Boating Course for at least 3 hours before taking the exam. Once you’ve finished the course, you’ll have unlimited time to complete the final boater exam.

You must be at least 10 years old to operate a motorized recreational vessel in New York State, and at least 14 years old to operate a personal watercraft (PWC). You need t carry your boating safety certificate with you at all time when out on the water.

The following individuals are not required to hold a New York State boating safety certificate:

∙       Those licensed to operate a commercial vessel in the U.S. or Canada

∙       Certified boating instructors

∙       Members of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary or US Power Squadron

∙       First responders who are operating a vessel in the course of their duties

No! Once you have taken the course, passed the exam and earned your boating safety certificate, it is good for life.

Yes! Both state and Canadian government agencies recognize out-of-state boater education cards as long as they are approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

Yes! New York State recognizes NASBLA-approved boater education cards and Transport Canada-approved Pleasure Craft Operator Cards held by boaters visiting the state. Note that the boating license must be issued from your current state of residence.

No! Individuals who rent a motorized vessel from a rental facility are not required to have a boating license unless they are under 18 years of age. However, the rental facility must provide basic instructions and safety information before renting out the boat.

No! No driver’s license is required to obtain a New York State boating safety certificate. Once you take the safe boating course and pass the exam, you will be issued a certificate. You can use that as proof of your boating credentials or get a non-driver photo ID with an anchor icon from the DMV.

If you obtained your boating safety certificate from an online course provider, you’ll need to contact the provider for a replacement card.

When you register for the New York Safe Boating Course, you’ll need to pay a $34.95 fee.  This fee covers the course, the exam with unlimited retries, and the boating safety certificate.

Group and family discounts are also available from Drive a Boat USA:

∙       1 Person: $34.95

∙       2 People: $29.95 per license

∙       3 People: $24.95 per license

∙       4 People: $20.95 per license


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