Boat Licence Theory
|No experience required. Minimum age 12 years.
|Duration:||4 hours. Timings subject to numbers and variances which may arise on the day.
NSW RMS Approved Training Provider.
|Requirements:||Be able to read and understand English.
||$125.00 per person. Group booking discounts available.
Covering nautical terminology, collision regulations, safety equipment and boating rules, this course option is ideal for anyone wishing to complete the boat licence theory learning and test assessment only. NOTE: You will still need to complete an on-water boat practical in order to meet all the requirements for gaining the licence. The easiest and quickest way to achieve this is by attending the one day boat licence with practical course. You can also opt to complete a boat licence practical only session on another day.
Enrolment and booking
- To book on a course select a course location and date from the dropdown menu below.
- Group booking discounts available when booking two or more people online at one time.
- Review our general terms and conditions as well as the Roads and Maritime proof of identity and Roads and Maritime proof of identity requirements prior to attending one of our courses.
- Read the Boat Licence Training Privacy Statement
- To book on a course select a course location and date from the dropdown menu below.
What you will learn
- Boating terms.
- State rules and regulations.
- Distances off, speed and wake restrictions.
- International Collision regulations.
- Chartwork and buoyage system.
- Weather and tides.
- Marine radio, distress and rescue.
- Duty of care, boating risks and insurance.
- Emergency drills and first aid.
- Vessel and engine maintenance.
- Watersking and towing rules.
- NSW RMS Boat Licence multiple-choice knowledge test.
- Boat Licence Application Form valid for12 months from date of issue.
- Course Completion Certificate on request.
Participants are advised to review the course pre-reading material provided to them on completion of the enrolment/booking process. The Roads and Maritime online Boating Knowledge Quiz is also a useful resource for preparing to sit the multiple-choice knowledge tests which are included in the course.
Applicants who have difficulty reading or writing English, or who use AUSLAN (sign language) are advised to contact a local Maritime Service Centre, where interpretative services can be made available. Applicants who have difficulty in comprehending written questions can be given a verbal assessment by a College Trainer or by way of an appointment with NSW Roads and Maritime Services. Please call us on 1300 723 112 to discuss your special needs with one mof our crew.
What to bring
- 1 form of full proof of identity (POI) such as a current drivers licence. Or, one form of primary ID, such as a Passport or a Birth Certificate and one form of Secondary ID such as a Medicare Card, Pensioners Concession Card, current Student ID, or a current Credit Card. The required Proof of Identity information is available on the NSW Roads and Maritime website.
NOTE: Young adult licence applicants (persons between 12 years and under 16 years of age) are required to provide one form of primary ID and one form of secondary ID.
The theory assessment is completed face-to-face in the presence of a College accredited Roads and Maritime trainer and assessor.
The classroom theory course is derived from the following nationally recognised units of competency:
MEM50008 - Carry out trip preparation and planning
MEM50009 - Safely operate a mechanically powered recreational boat
MEM50010 - Respond to boating emergencies and incidents
There are 50 multiple choice questions comprised of which 20 core safety issue questions must be answered correctly and 30 general safety questions of which 24 questions must be answered correctly. If you do not successfully pass the test you'll be given a second attempt on the day. Should the second attempt not be successful you will need to resit the multiple-choice test on another date. Re-testing fees apply.
The boat multiple-choice test is based on a range of knowledge defined by RMS for the issue of a NSW General Boat Licence.
Does this course option meet all the requirements for obtaining a NSW boat licence?+
No, you will still need to complete an on-water practical. The easiest and quickest way to do this is by attending our boat licence and practical one day course, or the practical only session. Alternatively, you can complete the Roads and Maritime (RMS) Practical Logbook. This option will take you longer to complete.
Are young people catered for on the course?+
Young people between the ages of 12-15 years are. We have all the necessary safety systems and checks in place both on and off the water. Our trainers are first aid qualified and hold current working with children clearances.
Are group booking discounts available for this course option?+
Yes, they are. Our online enrolment system is configured to automatically deduct the discounted amount before sending an invoice depending on the number booking online at any one time. For two people, the discount is 5%. For three people the discount is 10%. For four or more people the discount is 15%. The discount is applied to each person on the booking.
Are there any course learning resources or exercises to complete prior to attending the course?+
Yes, we recommend all students complete some prior learning before completing the course. It will assist in preparing for the multiple-choice knowledge test. On completion of the enrolment process you will be provided with access to the course learning resources area.
What does the boat licence multiple-choice test assessment involve?+
There are 50 multiple choice questions of which 20 compulsory questions in Section A must be answered correctly and 30 general questions in Section B of which 24 questions must be answered correctly. Supervised by an approved trainer the test takes 20-30 minutes to complete.If you do not successfully pass the test you'll be given a second attempt on the day. If you fail the second attempt.You can resit the test with us or with NSW Roads and Maritime. Re-testing fees apply.
What should I bring to the course?+
Bring one full Proof of Identity item such as a current drivers licence. Everything else you need for the theory course is provided.
The National Maritime College is required to comply with Roads and Maritime (RMS) directives in relation to acceptable acceptable proof of identity (POI) documents to be produced by boat and PWC licence applicants. Course completion documentation cannot be issued by our trainers unless they have sighted and verified acceptable POI documentation.
Acceptable full documentation for boat licence students includes:
- A current NSW Drivers Licence
- A current Australian or Overseas Passport
- An Australian or Overseas Birth Certificate
When completing a boat licence course students must bring with them on the day, One full POI document, or at least one primary and one secondary POI document. We recommend students bring one form of full identification to licence courses as no additional identification documentation is needed. Young Adults (12-16 year olds) completing a boat licence course must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. As well as acceptable proof of identity for the young adult student we are required to sight acceptable proof of identity for the parent/legal guardian.
Roads and Maritime Boat and PWC Licence Fees
Similar to a driver's licence you will also have to pay a state government fee to NSW Roads and Maritime. The fees are subject to annual review.
One year licence
$62.00 $190.00 One year concession for persons aged under 16 years old
$31.00 $95.00 Three year licence
$167.00 $415.00 Three year concession licence for persons aged under 16 years old
$84.00 $208.00 Five year licence
$263.00 $649.00 Five year concession licence for persons aged under 16 years old
$132.00 $325.00 Ten year licence
Ten year concession licence for persons aged under 16 years old
A NSW General Licence or PWC / Jet Ski licence is available for either 1, 3 , 5 or 10 years. Young adult licenses are only available for one year.
There are two types of Licences:
- General boat driving licence
- PWC driving licence
The general boat driving licence permits people aged 12 years and over to drive any vessel (except a PWC) at 10 knots or more WITH RESTRICTIONS APPLIED.
Combined driver and boat licence
Eligible Roads and Maritime customers can combine their unrestricted vehicle driver's licence (all classes) and the boat licence onto one card. A combined licence will constitute a NSW driver licence which includes an indicator on the reverse side of the card that the licence holder also holds a NSW boat licence.
Eligibility and non eligibility requirements for the combined licence are detailed on the Roads and Maritime website.
Digital boat licence and vessel registration
In NSW boat licence and vessel registration is now available in digital form on an updated version of the Service NSW app. To access digital licences and vessel registration, boaters need to download the Service NSW app and link Maritime Services to their MyService NSW account.
NOTE: The digital licence for the PWC class licence does not have a photo included for this release and therefore will not be valid when operating a PWC at any speed. So when driving a PWC the operator must carry their physical PWC licence at all times. When operating a powered vessel above 10 knots however, a PWC class digital boat driving licence will be accepted as a valid form of licence.
A boat driving licence-class PWC cannot be renewed online or via the app. A licence holder with a combined licence (boat and a driver licence) can view their Boat Driving Licence as a digital licence. Until the driver licence is available digitally (planned for release in 2019), these users will not be able to renew their Boat Driving Licence online. While users who choose to carry only a digital licence must ensure their device remains charged and accessible, digital licences can be accessed on another smartphone or tablet by securely signing into the Service NSW app when in mobile reception.
Licence holders 12-16 years old
The holder of a general boat driving licence or PWC driving licence who is aged from 12 to under 16 years of age must not do any of the following:
- Drive at a speed greater than 20 knots.
- Drive in any race, display, regatta, exhibition or similar operation.
- Drive any vessel, other than a PWC, at a speed of 10 knots or more, without the holder of a general boat driving licence who is 16 years of age or older being present on the vessel, between sunset and sunrise, or while the vessel is towing anyone.
- Drive a PWC between sunset and sunrise (this rule applies to all PWC driving licence holders)
- Drive a PWC at a speed of 10 knots or more, without the holder of a PWC driving licence who is 16 years of age or older being present on the PWC, or while the PWC is towing anyone.
Holders of valid AMSA Certificates of Competency as master, mate or coxswain are currently exempt from the requirement to hold a PWC or General Boat Licence when boating for recreational purposes.
Where the applicant has a known eyesight condition or is unable to provide a current Drivers Licence, or eyesight report to confirm eyesight standards, an eyesight test may be required. This can be completed at a Roads and Maritime Service Centre or you can provide an eyesight report issued by a General Practitioner or Optometrist.
Applying for the licence
You can apply for your licence by attending a Roads and Maritime Registry or Service NSW Service Centre in person or by mailing the documentation to the address detailed on the Licence Aplication Form. When the required supporting documents and payment of the licence are received and processed by Roads and Maritime the applicant will either receive a temporary or permanent licence.