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Campfire Collective Aug 18th, 2017

New York Boating Laws and Regulations

Two adirondack chairs on a dock overlooking New York lake.

NEW YORK BOATER EDUCATION CARD

A New York Boater Education Card is not the same thing as a driver’s licence. The Boater Education Card, more commonly known as a “boating license” is a card that proves that you have taken an approved Boating Safety Course. In New York, a Boater Education Card is required for all boaters born on or after May 1, 1996. However, it’s a good idea for ALL boaters to receive a Boating Safety Education to help keep New York’s waters a safe place for everyone enjoying them.

Brianna’s Law – In effect as of January 1st, 2020

Brianna’s Law comes into effect on January 1st, 2020

If you were born on or after January 1st, 1993 you will need a boating safety certificate when operating a motorized vessel, starting in 2020.

If you were born on or after January 1st, 1988 you will need a boating safety certificate when operating a motorized vessel, starting in 2022.

If you were born on or after January 1st, 1983 you will need a boating safety certificate when operating a motorized vessel, starting in 2023.

If you were born on or after January 1st, 1978 you will need a boating safety certificate when operating a motorized vessel, starting in 2024.

All operators of motorized vessels, regardless of age, will need a boating safety certificate by January 1, 2025. 

The law does not change any regulations in regard to livery operations. As before, patrons renting boats from a livery operation do not need a boating safety certificate if the livery staff demonstrate safe handling
and locations of safety equipment prior to rental. Livery staff must possess a certificate.

Under the previous law, owners of new boats had a 120-day grace period from the date of purchase to obtain a safe boating certificate. This accommodation has been eliminated under Brianna’s Law.

The law previously allowed for non-certified persons to operate a boat if someone with a certificate was in the boat. This no longer applies, so everyone operating the vessel must have a certificate.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact us:

Main Phone Number: (518) 474-0445
Instructor Only Phone Number: 1-888-274-6121
Fax Number: (518) 408-1030
Email: Boating@parks.ny.gov
Instructor only website: https://parks.ny.gov/recreation/boating/instructors.aspx

OBTAINING YOUR NEW YORK BOATING LICENSE

Get your New York Boating License today by signing up for the online BOATsmart! Course. Register for the BOATsmart! New York Course, pass the test and you’ll be enjoying New York waterways in just a few hours.

BOATsmart! docking course content on tablet with New York Boater Education card.
BOATsmart! New York Boater Education card.

Get your Official New York
Boating License

The Official NASBLA and New York State-Approved Boating Course, Test & License.

Get your Official New York
Boating License

The Official NASBLA and New York State-Approved Boating Course, Test & License.

LIFE JACKET REQUIREMENTS IN NEW YORK

No, adults are not required to wear life jackets on New York waters, unless they are boating between November 1st and May 1st on a boat under 21 feet in length; OR, they are neing towed behind a boat (i.e. water-skiing); OR they are operating a PWC.

Even though adults are not required to wear life jackets at all times while boating in New York State, our suggestion is to always WEAR IT!

In the state of New York, children 12 years of age and under are required to wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket when underway on any boat under 65 feet in length, unless the the child is in a fully enclosed area, such as a cabin.

Parents, always make sure your child’s life jacket is properly secured and in good condition. It’s the law for kids to WEAR IT!

BOATING AND ALCOHOL

It’s illegal in the state of New York to operate any boat (including any type of paddle craft) while under the influence of an intoxicating substance, such as drugs and/or alcohol.

A boat operator will be considered to be under the influence in the state of New York if, within 2 hours of operating a boat, they have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher; OR if they are under the age of 21 and have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level between 0.02% – 0.07%.

If convicted of boating while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, New York law prescribes heavy fines, imprisonment, and the suspension of boat operating privileges for violators.

BOAT ACCIDENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS IN NEW YORK

If you’ve been involved in a boating accident in New York, you’ll be required to submit a Boat Accident Report to the New York State Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation within 5 days if a boat passenger is injured and required medical treatment beyond first aid, if a person is killed or has disappeared from the boat,or there is property damage beyond $1,000. Stay safe out there boaters!

You can obtain an official New York Boating Accident Report Form from: http://nysparks.com/recreation/boating/documents/AccidentReportForm.pdf

NEW YORK STATE PARKS CONTACT INFORMATION

The BOATsmart! Course has been approved by New York State Parks. For more information, you can contact the Marine Services Bureau at:

New York State Parks
Marine Services Bureau
Albany, NY 12238
518-474-0445
http://www.nysparks.com/recreation/boating/education.aspx

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