FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

I just bought a boat; will I need a course immediately?
No. You would have 120 days in which to complete a course if you are required to have a certificate.
Will I need a course in order to rent a motorboat in New York?
No. If you are at least 18 years old, you may rent without completing a course. The livery should demonstrate how to properly use the boat before renting it however. Persons under the age of 18 may only rent a motorboat if they hold a safety certificate.
How do I find courses?
Can I set up a private course in my home?
Private courses can only be set up with a mandatory fourteen day notice at public locations such as office - business - marina - school - church – hall, etc. For more info Call 718-956-5000 or send a request online. Private Course Inquiry
Can I use my NY safety certificate in other states?
Yes. Because the New York Safe Boating Course is NASBLA approved it is accepted in other states and Canada.
I lost my safety certificate. How can I get a replacement? What if I lost my temporary certificate?
Please complete and print the Application for Replacement NY Safe Boating Certificate and mail it to the address indicated on the form with a check or money order for $10. Please allow three to four weeks for processing. If you lost your temporary certificate you will have to 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.
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 $100 or no more than $250, or by imprisonment for not more than seven days, or by both fine and imprisonment. For a second conviction, fines and imprisonment terms increase.
Who is required to have a Boater Safety Certificate?
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.

Operators may not operate a Personal Watercraft (JetSki, SeaDoo, etc.) unless they are at least 14 years of age and hold a boater safety certificate issued by State Parks, the USCG Auxiliary or the US Power Squadron for having completed a an 8-hour classroom based course of instruction. A person without a safety certificate may operate a PWC when accompanied by someone over 18 years of age who is the holder of a boater safety certificate. For the purposes of this section, "accompanied" shall mean upon the same PWC.
Is a certificate the same thing as a license?
There is no boating “license” in NYS. Unlike a license, a certificate is good for life. It does not need to be renewed regularly, as does a license. It is a NASBLA approved Course that is acceptable by most states. However, for an additional fee you can add your boating safety course completion seal to your driver’s license.
What is the education requirement for personal watercraft?

All operators of personal watercraft must have a Boating Safety Education Certificate in their possession to operate a personal watercraft.

What is a personal watercraft (PWC)?
A personal watercraft is a boat less than 16 feet in length that uses an internal combustion motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion. It is designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling rather than in the conventional manner of boat operation. Personal watercraft are better known to the public by brand names that include Jet Ski®, Sea Doo®, Wave Runner®, Tiger Shark®, Wet Jet®, etc.
How do I get a Boating Safety Education Certificate?
You need to successfully complete an 8 hour class by a NYS Certified Instructor or NASBLA approved boating course and accompanying examination. Schedules and course descriptions are listed on our course schedule and location page.
How much do courses cost?
Boating course fees taught by USBOATSCHOOL.COM vary from location to location, a fee is often required. Fees are listed on the course schedule and location page. A separate fee of $10 is required for all candidates over 18 for NYS to send you a Boater Safety Card. Although Children 10-18 have to pay for the course, there is no fee for the NYS card. If you would like to add the boating safety course seal to your license then you have to send an additional $12.50.
Can I get study material before the course?