New state law requires boaters born after 1996 to obtain safety certificate
Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 4:51 pm

A new state law now requires young boaters to possess a safety certificate for waters in the North Country and elsewhere in New York.

The new regulation requires boaters born after May 1, 1996 to obtain a boating safety certificate by completing an approved eight-hour course to operate a motorboat in New York State, according to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The law, which took effect May 1, was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an effort to make waterways safer.

“Recreational boating is a fun family activity and a great way to explore New York’s outdoors. With summer fast approaching, I encourage boaters to make sure their young friends and family members can join in on the fun by staying up to date with new boater education requirements,” State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “Whether they plan to go boating this summer or sometime in the future, anyone born on or after May 1, 1996 now needs to obtain a Boating Safety Certificate to operate a power boat in New York.”

Boating safety courses may be completed through the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, U.S. Power Squadron, or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. A list of approved courses is available at

Regardless of age, all personal watercraft (PWC) operators still need a boating safety certificate.

For New Yorkers who have earned the certificate, keeping track of it is even easier thanks to New York’s new Adventure License. New Yorkers who have taken an approved safe boating course and received a Boating Safety Certificate, with just a few easy steps, can have the certification reflected as an anchor icon on their NYS Driver License, non-driver ID or learner permit.

The personalized Adventure License eliminates the need to carry a separate certificate. For more information on the other benefits of getting an Adventure License, visit

The State Parks Marine Service Unit is responsible for the general coordination of boating safety programs and supports marine law enforcement efforts across the state, including patrols, training and funding for local marine enforcement activities.

For more information about boating safety, including listings of boating safety courses and marine recreation in New York State, visit