Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Boating Education

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In 2024, all operators of motorized vessels born on or after January 1, 1978 need to carry a safe boating certificate while operating. Starting January 1, 2025, a safety certificate will be required of all operators, regardless of age.

  • Apply for a replacement certificate onlineLeaving New York State Parks
  • Carry your safety certificate wherever you go by adding an anchor icon on your driver's license. Visit the NYS Parks Adventure License page to apply today. *** If you took your course online, do not use this link. Please revisit the page where you took your online course, log-in, and find the link to the Adventure License application on that page.

A safe day on the water is a fun day on the water! To help ensure our waterways remain safe and enjoyable, New York State will require all motorized boaters to take a safe boating course and earn their safe boating certificate by 2025.

The New York Safe Boating Course teaches basic boating skills and encourages common sense and courtesy to all who share the water. Boaters can earn their certificate by taking a classroom course with certified New York State instructors or through approved online courses. Certificates issued by the United States Coast Guard AuxiliaryLeaving New York State Parks, America's Boating ClubLeaving New York State Parks, US PowerboatingLeaving New York State Parks (These classes are also offered by Waterfront | SUNY Maritime CollegeLeaving New York State Parks) and any NASBLA certified course from other states are also recognized.

Take A Boating Safety Course

Boating Education Classroom

Courses are available both in person and online so that you can choose the course the best fits your needs. You must be at least 10 years old to take a safe boating course.

Classroom courses are offered around the state by our certified and experienced instructors. Classroom courses are a great opportunity for boaters of all ages, especially first time and youth boaters, to earn their certificates. Please note that some instructors may charge an instructional fee. Fees paid to your instructor do not include the fee for a permanent certificate for students age 18 and older. Click here to find a classroom courseLeaving New York State Parks

With an approved online course, learning is completed online and successful completion of unit exams is required in order to advance through the course. Fees paid to the online provider include the cost of your permanent certificate issued by the provider.

Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for more information about online boating education courses

Boating Safety Certificates

Boating Education Certificate

Boating safety certificates are required for recreational boaters using motorized vessels, including personal watercraft. Operators of non-motorized boats, such as kayaks and canoes, are not required to have a boating safety certificate at this time.

Other things to know about Boating Safety Certificates

  • New York recognizes the boating safety certificate issued by your home state.
  • Persons may rent and operate a motorboat from a livery without first obtaining a boating safety certificate. Staff at the livery must provide basic instruction and safety information before you depart the dock.
  • While operators of non-motorized boats do not need a safe boating certificate, they are encouraged to take a safe boating course as well.

New York State Adventure License

New York State DMV Photo Issued Document

If you have a lifetime recreation certificate or sporting license, your New York State Driver License can now become an all-purpose boating, fishing, hunting and parks ID card.Leaving New York State Parks Anyone successfully completing the New York Safe Boating Course or approved online boating safety course may opt to have the anchor icon placed on your NYS DMV issues document. DMV will maintain a record of your having completed the boating safety course, and automatically place the icon on your license each time it is renewed.

The advantage to this program is that you will no longer need to carry your boating safety certificate with you when boating, provided you have your DMV credential with you. DMV will maintain a record of your having completed the boating safety course, and automatically place the icon on your license each time it is renewed.

If you would like a new driver's license issued immediately, the cost is $12.50. If you would like to wait until your next, regularly scheduled license renewal, there is no charge. There are several ways to apply:

If you took a New York State Parks Classroom Course:
  • For credit card payments for your new DMV license: After receiving your boating safety certificate in the mail, go to the NYS Parks Adventure License.
  • For other payment types: You must bring your boating safety certificate to a DMV office.
If you took an online safe boating course:
  • You must log back into the online course vendor's website and click on the link they provide for the Adventure License.
If you took a classroom course through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron or US Powerboating:
  • You must bring your original certificate directly to any DMV office.
  • You can also bring certificates from your online or New York State Parks classroom course to the DMV office.

Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for more information before you call DMV.