get your new york boating license
New York’s Official Boating Course, Test and Card. Animated, narrated & perfect for all ages.
Go Boating In New York in 3 steps
1. Study Online
Study up with the Official New York Boating Safety Course. Animated and narrated lessons put you in the captain’s seat. Anywhere, on any device and perfect for all ages.
2. Ace the test
It’s easy. Our New York State Parks Approved multiple-choice test is open book with unlimited free retries. Basically, you’re guaranteed to pass and it’s good for life!
3. Get on the water
Print your Temporary Card immediately and go boating! Your permanent New York Boating Safety Card will arrive in the mail within 4 weeks.
Proud to be North America’s Boating Educator. Join the crew!
Do you need a license to drive a boat in New York?
Born after May 1st, 1996? You must have a New York
Boater Education Card to operate any motorized watercraft.
Animated, narrated & perfect for all ages.
make it easy
Our animated, narrated and interactive lessons guide your learning experience and help you pass.
Everything you need
The BOATsmart!® Course includes all the knowledge you need to pass the test and boat with confidence.
Study at your
BOATsmart!® automatically tracks your progress on any device. Take it anywhere, anytime.
Designed for all ages
& skill levels
Designed by boaters and subject matter experts just for you.
Made for boaters,
New York Boating Knowledge Base
New York Boater Card
Frequently Asked Questions
DO I NEED A BOATER EDUCATION CARD TO GO BOATING IN NEW YORK STATE?
Yes, if you were born on or after May 1, 1996 and are operating a motorized boat without supervision. This law also applies to all PWC operators (who must be at least 14 years of age to operate a PWC). Most other states and most of Canada’s provinces and territories also require boaters to carry a Boater Education Certificate, commonly known as a Boating License.
DO BOATERS IN NEW YORK STATE HAVE TO WEAR LIFE JACKETS WHEN BOATING?
The only boaters required to WEAR their life jackets in New York are:
Any boaters 12 years of age or younger who are on boats under 65 feet in length.
PWC operators and passengers.
Passengers being towed.
Boaters operating between November 1st and May 1st, on boats that are under 21 feet in length.
WILL MY BOATSMART! CARD EVER EXPIRE?
Your BOATsmart! Card will never expire. But stay in touch after you pass the test – BOATsmart! offers free, online refresher lessons that will help you keep your boating skill and knowledge up to date as years pass and boating regulations change.
I ACCIDENTALLY DESTROYED MY NEW YORK BOATER EDUCATION CERTIFICATE – CAN I REPLACE IT?
Absolutely! Accidents happen, right? If you’ve destroyed or lost your BOATsmart! New York Boater Education Card, you can order a Replacement Card from BOATsmart! for $9.95. It’s so easy! Give us a call and we will send you a new BOATsmart! Card in the mail. Toll free 1-877-655-7778.
IS A NEW YORK BOATER EDUCATION CERTIFICATE THE SAME THING AS A BOATING LICENSE OR NEW YORK ADVENTURE LICENSE?
Boating Safety Education is required by anyone born after December 31, 1954 and 12 years of age or older operating a pleasure craft powered by an engine greater than 15 horsepower.
WILL MY New York BOATING EDUCATION I.D. CARD BE VALID FOR BOATING IN OTHER STATES?
Yes! The BOATsmart! Card is accepted in 40 other states, which extend reciprocity to certified boaters. This law applies to operators of motorized boats (who have taken and passed a NASBLA approved boating safety course), but does not apply in all states to operators of personal watercraft (PWCs). Always check the boating laws in the state you plan to visit before operating a boat or PWC there.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT TAKES ME LONGER THAN 3-HOURS TO COMPLETE THE BOATSMART! COURSE? WILL I NEED TO START OVER?
The 3-hour timer is only a minimum requirement. You’re free to spend as much time as you need in the BOATsmart! Knowledge Base before taking the Final Test.
WHO ENFORCES THE LAWS ON NEW YORK’S WATERWAYS?
Boaters in New York state must always comply with the laws in place and follow any direction given by law enforcement. Learn more about NY’s boating laws by taking the BOATsmart! New York Boating Safety Course. The boating law authorities in New York state are: Local Harbormasters and Bay Constables.
WHAT ARE THE FINES AND PENALTIES IN NEW YORK FOR BOATERS CONVICTED OF OPERATING A BOAT WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS?
In New York, boaters convicted of operating a boat while under the influence will face heavy fines, imprisonment, and the suspension of their boat operating privileges. Learn more about the risks of boating with alcohol by taking the BOATsmart! Boater Safety Course.
DRINKING AND BOATING – WHAT IS THE LEGAL LIMIT FOR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION WHEN OPERATING A BOAT IN NEW YORK STATE?
In New York, boaters will be considered to be ‘under the influence’ or ‘legally intoxicated’ if they have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. Or, if the boater is under the age of 21 and has a BAC level between 0.02% – 0.07%. Although it isn’t illegal to drink alcohol while boating, it’s important to drink responsibly to stay safe on the water! Learn more about the risks of drinking and boating by taking the BOATsmart! New York Boating Safety Course!
Boating in New York
Trusted and recognized from coast to coast
Will you be visiting a big city like New York City or Buffalo? Or a smaller NY town in the Hudson Valley or Adirondacks like Lake Placid? maybe you plan on visiting the Thousand Islands Seaway, Finger Lakes area or ‘close-to-the-bustle’ Long Island. NY state has something for everybody!