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Where to Get Boat Licence in Australia

where to get boat licence australia

You’re all set to embark on your aquatic adventures, but first things first – let’s get that boat license squared away. Not sure where to get boat licence?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Each state in Australia has its own rules for getting a boat license, so let’s break it down for you, step by step, to make sure you know exactly where to get boat licence and navigate the process smoothly.

New South Wales (NSW)

If you’re in NSW and dreaming of cruising the waves, you can apply for a general boat license as young as 12 (with some restrictions for those under 16). Here’s what you need to do:

  • Eligibility
    Make sure you meet the age requirements and have some practical boating experience.
  • Requirements
    You’ll need to pass a boating knowledge test, and if you want to ride a Personal Watercraft (PWC), you’ll need an extra test after getting your general license.
  • Application
    Book an appointment at a Service NSW centre, bring along your documents, and pay the fees.

South Australia (SA)

In SA, the rules are a bit different:

  1. Eligibility
    You’ve got to be at least 16 to apply for a boat license, but if you’re between 12 and 16, you can go for a special permit.
  2. Requirements
    You’ll need to prove your identity, disclose any medical conditions, and pass a theory exam.
  3. Application
    Head to a Service SA centre, take the theory exam and pay the fees.


Tassie’s rules are straightforward:

  • Eligibility
    If you’re 17 or older, you can apply for a full boat license. If you’re between 12 and 16, you can get a provisional license.
  • Requirements
    Complete a BoatSafe Practical Course and bring along proof of identity.
  • Application
    Visit a Service Tasmania centre, submit your documents, and pay the fee.

Western Australia (WA)

Over in WA, things are a bit different with the Recreational Skipper’s Ticket:

  1. Eligibility and Preparation
    You can start at 14, but there are speed and daylight restrictions until you’re 16. Study the recreational skipper’s ticket workbook and practice online.
  2. Theory and Practical Assessment
    Pass a theory exam and demonstrate your boating skills for the practical assessment.
  3. Registration
    If your vessel is powered by machinery, register it with the Department of Transport.

General Tips

Here are some handy tips for getting your boat license anywhere in Australia:

  • Training Courses
    Consider taking a training course from an authorised provider. They cover everything you need to know and can be done online or in person.
  • License Types
    Remember, there are different types of licenses, so make sure you know which one you need for your water adventures.
  • Check with Authorities
    Always double-check with your state or territory authorities for the latest info and specific requirements.

Getting your boat license in Australia isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Just follow the steps for your state, brush up on your boating knowledge, and before you know it, you’ll be cruising the waves like a pro with your Perth skippers ticket from Sea Safe Boat School.

Remember, safety always comes first, so make sure you’re prepared before you set sail. Whether it’s getting your skippers ticket Maylands with our school or just double-checking your gear, happy boating!

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Mike Watson

Mike Watson, owner and operator of Sea Safe Boat School, has over 35 years of sea-going experience. Starting his maritime journey at 15 in Grimsby, England, he's sailed locations like Iceland and Greenland. Certified as a Master-5 Trainer, Mike is now dedicated to offering courses to those pursuing their recreational skippers ticket in Perth.