New Law Effective May 1st 2014, All individuals born on or after 5/1/96 are now required to successfully complete an approved course in boater education in order to operate a motorboat.
Life Jacket Wear Requirements
Beginning November 1, 2009, Section 40, Subdivision 1 of the Navigation Law shall be amended by adding new paragraph (e), which reads as follows:
No owner or operator of a pleasure vessel less than twenty-one feet, including rowboats, canoes, and kayaks shall permit its operation, between November first and May first, unless each person on board such vessel is wearing a securely fastened United States Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device of an appropriate size when such vessel is underway.
Failure to wear a lifejacket on such vessels will be considered a violation under Section 73-c if the Navigation Law and is punishable by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100, applicable to either the operator and/or the owner of the vessel.
NASSAU, SUFFOLK, BROOKLYN, QUEENS & WESTCHESTER *PRIVATE CLASSES AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCATION*
This New York State Parks & Recreation course is approved by NASBLA
(National Association of State Boating Law Administrators)
Legal Requirements - Persons Required to Complete a Safety Course
You must hold a safety certificate if: You operate a personal watercraft and are at least 14 years of age. Anyone may operate a personal watercraft if someone at least 18 years old is on the craft and they hold a safety certificate.
All individuals born on or after 5/1/96 are now required to successfully complete an approved course in boater education in order to operate a motorboat. The required boating safety certificate must be carried by the minor at all times while operating the boat. An approved course of instruction includes at least 8-hours of classroom training and a proctored exam. Students must be at least 10 years old to take the course.
Can I take an on-line safety course? No. Only certificates issued by New York State, the USCG Auxiliary or the US Power Squadrons are acceptable. State law requires that the New York State Boating Safety Program includes at least eight hours of classroom instruction, and a proctored exam.
I'm visiting New York, Will my safety certificate from my home state be sufficient? Yes. Because the New York Boating Course is NASBLA approved it is accepted in other states and Canada.
I lost my safety certificate, How can I get a replacement? You may request a replacement certificate by going to:
If you are under the age of 18 there is no charge for the replacement certificate. If you are over the age of 18 you must include a check for $10, made payable to "NYS Parks". If you lost your temporary certificate you must wait until your permanent certificate is issued. Temporary certificates cannot be replaced.
Why did my instructor give me two temporary certificates? After completing the program your instructor should have given you two sheets; a white temporary certificate that you should carry while waiting for your permanent certificate and a yellow copy as well. The yellow copy should be sent to State Parks along with your $10 fee for processing your permanent certificate. State Parks cannot issue a permanent certificate to you until we receive the yellow copy and your fee. If you are less than 18 years old, your instructor should have only given you the white temporary certificate. The instructor is responsible for mailing the yellow copies for those students under the age of 18 to State Parks. In all cases, the permanent certificate will be issued by State Parks.
Why haven't I received my certificate yet? There may be several reasons. Processing the vast number of certificates received is a very time consuming process, and most permanent certificates take at least 60 days for processing. If you are over the age of 18, ensure that you have sent in the yellow copy of your temporary certificate and the required $10 fee. Checks are cashed at the time the permanent certificate is issued.
I earned a state safety certificate when I was young, Does that count? Yes, provided you still have a copy of your original certificate and you were under the age of 18 at the time. Records do not exist for courses taught prior to the early 1990's.
What will happen if I do not have a boating safety certificate? If convicted of a first violation you can be fined not less than $25 or no more than $100, or by imprisonment for not more than seven days, or by both fine and imprisonment. For a second violation fines and imprisonment increase.
Can I have my New York Boating Safety Certification noted on my drivers license?
Yes, Anyone completing the New York Safe Boating Course may opt to have their driver's license indicate completion of the course. A small anchor icon will be placed on your drivers license attesting that you have earned a New York State Boating Safety Certificate. You may request an anchor icon by completing the following form: Anchor Icon Form.