Want to drive a recreational boat that is powered by an engine greater than 4.5kW (6hp)? Then a boat licence is what you need!

There are two types of licences in Queensland:

  • Recreational Marine Licences (RMDL)
  • Personal Water Craft Licence (PWCL)

Unlicensed drivers are able to operate a recreational boat or personal watercraft if they are supervised by a licenced driver so they can take over at any time. It’s important that unlicensed drivers do not tow anyone, so that means anyone tobogganing, tubing, water skiing etc.

Now you know a little bit about the different types of licences, the next step is how to get your marine licence. Whether you want a personal water craft licence or a recreational marine driver’s licence you must first pass an approved BoatSafe course.

To obtain your marine licence you must be over the age of 16.

How to get your boat licence

  • You need to first fill out a licence application form
  • Bring proof of identity
  • Provide the original statement of competency from your BoatSafe training provider.
  • Pay the licence fee

From there you will get a printed confirmation statement verifying that you hold your RMDL or PWCL. Once you have obtained your marine licence it is valid for life.

It is not necessary for you to carry your boat licence with you while you’re out on the water. A boat licence is a virtual licence, if you would like to have a physical boat licence then the next time you renew or obtain your driver’s licence you may get an indicator on your licence.

Prior Learning

If you already have some experience out on the water then you can apply for a recognition of prior learning. This involves providing evidence of your experience in operating a vessel or your other relevant qualifications.

If you have previous experience and you are unsure if you qualify for a prior learning recognition then contact a training provider.

Important things to remember are:

  • If you move from Queensland you are required to change your boat licence to the state that you move to as different states can have different rules.
  • Just like cars, you are required to be able to pass a breath test. Anything over 0.05 and you will have a loss of licence.
  • You don’t need to have a car licence to obtain a marine licence.

Boat Licences and States

The requirements for your boat licence will vary in each state of Australia. ACT has the same requirements as New South Wales and the Northern Territory does not currently require you to have a boat licence to operate a watercraft.

For more information on boating licences in different states click your state below.