How to Get Your NSW Boat Licence: A Complete Guide

How to Get Your NSW Boat Licence: A Complete Guide

Navigating the waters is a dream for many . However, before you can enjoy the serene waters of NSW, obtaining a boat licence is a must. This guide will walk you through the process of getting your NSW boat licence, ensuring you’re well-prepared and informed every step of the way.

Understanding NSW Boat Licence Requirements

In New South Wales, operating a powered watercraft capable of 10 knots or more requires a boat driving licence. This rule ensures that all boaters have the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate NSW waters safely.

Who Needs a Boat Licence in NSW?

  • Individuals aged 12 years and older can apply for a Young Adult Licence, while those 16 and above can apply for a General Boat Driving Licence.( SCA offers a $20 discount for young adults 12-15 years of age ).
  • Both residents and visitors intending to operate a power-driven vessel at 10 knots or more on NSW waters.


Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for Your NSW Boat Licence



Step 1: Complete the Boating Safety Course

The first step towards getting your NSW boat licence is completing a boating safety course. This course is designed to equip you with essential knowledge, including navigation rules, safety equipment requirements, and emergency procedures.

  • Where to Take the Course: The course can be taken through Superyacht Crew Academy every weekend and custom dates can be made for 3 or more people.
  • Course Fee: $345 for the NSW Boat Licence and $70 extra if you want your PWC licence

Step 2: Pass the Knowledge Test ( SCA’s course includes the theory knowledge test on the day)

After completing the boating safety course, the next step is to pass the Boat Licence Knowledge Test.

Step 3: Log Practical Experience ( No need for a log book when completing a NSW boat licence course through SCA )

Gaining practical boating experience is crucial. You’ll need to log on-water experience either through a practical boating school or under the supervision of a licenced boater.

Step 5: Submit Your Application

With your course completion, knowledge test passed, practical experience logged, you’re ready to submit your application.

  • Where to Apply: Visit a NSW Service Centre or apply online through the NSW Transport website.
  • Application Fee: Fees vary depending on the licence duration (1, 3, 5, or 10 years). Current fees are listed on the NSW Transport website.

Additional Tips for Success

  • Practice Makes Perfect: Spend as much time as possible gaining practical experience. The more comfortable you are handling a boat, the more confident you’ll be on the water.
  • Stay Informed: Boating regulations and safety guidelines can change. Regularly check the NSW Transport website for the latest information.


Obtaining your NSW boat licence is a straightforward process when you know what to expect. By following this guide, completing the necessary training, and gaining practical experience, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the beautiful waters of New South Wales safely and legally.

Remember, boating is not just about having the licence but also about ongoing learning and respecting the marine environment and other water users. Happy boating!

To book your NSW Boat licence through SCA use the link below to book online.


For more boat licence information head the the service NSW website with the link below

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