Boat Licencing

Currently both the National Capital Authority and the ACT Government as managers of Canberra’s lakes require all operators of powered water craft to attain a NSW General Boat Licence. This guide has been compiled to provide you with a summary of the steps to acquiring the necessary licence. Should you require further information please refer to the NSW Maritime Website for detail.


Included costs are accurate as at 17/07/2014.


There are 4 steps to acquire a licence.

Note: The Boating Safety Course(s) must be undertaken before the licence test(s) can be attempted however, practical boating experience can be completed at any stage although a boat licence will not be issued until all 3 components have been successfully completed.

  1.  Provide evidence of practical boating experience by completing the Boating Licence Practical Logbook.
  2.  Complete the compulsory General Licence Boating Safety Course online. You do NOT need to complete the PWC safety course. After completing this you will need to print the Certificate of Completion and take it when you go in to sit the assessment. This will cost $14 payable online.
  3. Study the Boating Handbook found here. Made up of 7 components. It is also recommended you attempt some of the practice question to familiarise yourself with the type of questions you can expect in the assessment. You can find the practice questions here.
  4. You are now ready to sit the assessment at one of the NSW Transport Offices. Sitting the assessment will cost you $32 which will NOT be refunded if you fail the assessment.

Bookings for tests are required, please contact your local Maritime Service Centre or Motor Registry to book for your test prior to attending the office.

The general licence knowledge test comprises 40 questions of which the first 15 must all be answered correctly.

Upon successful completion of the assessment you will then be given the option of a 1 year licence ($57) or a 3 year licence ($152). Note there are concession licences available. More information is available here.