Recreational & Commercial Boating
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Service Listing » Recreational & Commercial Boating
Pay and renew your recreational Boat Driving Licence online. Advise change of contact details.
Look up Roads and Maritime offices, services and facilities on a map of NSW
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The speed at which a boat is driven determines whether a person needs to be licensed. Anyone who is the operator of a power-driven vessel operating recreationally on NSW waters at a speed of 10 knots (approximately 18.5 km/h) or more must have a Boat Driving Licence.
Ten knots is the speed at which most accelerating boats will start to plane or rise up and skim on top of the water instead of ploughing through it. The exception is that anyone who drives a Personal Watercraft (PWC) at ANY speed must have a PWC licence.
To register your recreational or commercial vessel in NSW, apply for a Vessel Registration.
Pay and renew your recreational or Commercial Vessel Licence Online. Advise change of contact details.
To notify Roads and Maritime Services Notice of Disposal for your Boat
Look up boatcode agents on a map of NSW
Certificate of Operation - Make a Periodic Payment
A person must be at least 16 years of age to register a vessel in NSW. Registrations are granted on an annual basis and the following vessels must be registered with Roads and Maritime Services when occupying NSW navigable waters:
1) Any commercial vessel.
2) Power-driven vessels that are powered by an engine with a power rating of 4.0 kilowatts (kw) or more (as a guide, 4.0 kw is approximately 5 horsepower (hp)).
3) Any power-driven or sailing vessel of 5.5 metres or longer.
4) Every vessel subject to a mooring licence or marina berths.
5) Personal Watercraft (PWC).
Download a Private Mooring Licence application form
Pay and renew your Private Mooring Licence online. Advise change of contact details.
A mooring licence permits you to moor your vessel on navigable waters and is renewable annually. A mooring licence is not a lease of the seabed and there is no guarantee of tenure. The general position of the site is determined and may be varied at the discretion of Roads and Maritime Services. It is however the responsibility of a mooring contractor to ensure that the mooring and its location are suitable for the vessel in question.
A Private Mooring Licence is subject to special conditions. Non-compliance with these conditions may result in the cancellation of the licence and/or your liability insurance may be null and void. To view these conditions click here.
Generally, the maximum number of mooring sites that can be accommodated in an area is subject to a number of considerations including water depth, navigational requirements, seagrass beds and foreshore facilities.
A Private Mooring Licence cannot be sublet or traded in any way.
Download a Commercial Mooring Licence application form
Pay and renew your Commercial Mooring Licence in full online.
A Commercial Mooring Licence permits vessels to occupy moorings under a commercial arrangement. The licence is issued for a period of 12 months and is renewed on payment of the appropriate commercial mooring fees. Roads and Maritime Services conducts reviews to ensure the licence is used in accordance with the approved purpose.
A commercial mooring can generally be identified by a red or orange buoy and is subject to Commercial Mooring Licence Standard Conditions(PDF). Special conditions may also apply.
There are two types of Commercial Mooring Licences:
• Commercial - available to legitimate marine type businesses.
• Club – available to a registered club or association (usually a boating or sailing club).
Commercial Moorings are only issued to:
• A business entity or person approved by Roads and Maritime as trading to provide approved marine type services to the boating public (eg boat repair, marinas, commercial fishing, charter vessels, boat brokerage, mooring contractor)
• Any other business which cannot be accessed by means other than water i.e. there is no land access.
To work on commercial vessels in NSW waters, apply for a Certificate of Competency.
By law, any person working as a crew on a commercial vessel on NSW waterways must hold a Certificate of Competency. This ensures that people operating commercial vessels are competent and medically fit for their assigned tasks and areas of operation.
Roads and Maritime Services issues the following Certificates of Competency:
1) Coxswain 1 NC and Coxswain 2 NC;
2) Master (Inland Waters);
3) Master <24m NC;
4) Master <35m NC;
5) Master <80m NC;
6) Mate <80m NC;
7) Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 NC (MED3);
8) Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 NC (MED2);
9) Marine Engine Driver Grade 1 NC (MED1);
10) Engineer Class 3 NC (Eng3);
11) General purpose hand NC(GPH).
Holders of certificates of competency as master, mate or coxswain are exempt from the requirement to hold a general Boat Driving Licence or PWC licence in NSW. This exemption does not apply to engineering certificates, general purpose hands or masters of vehicular ferry in chains.
The final stage in applying for a Certificate of Competency is an assessment by NSW Maritime. This assessment is only conducted when all other requirements have been met. The assessment is an interview style assessment of your skills and knowledge. The assessment may involve the use of a simulator or may be conducted on board a vessel and include a practical boat driving test for coxswains and masters Certificates. You may also be required to provide a written response to questions as part of the assessment process.
Assessments are conducted at Rozelle and at various other regional centres when there are sufficient candidates to be assessed.
You will be advised in writing if you are eligible for an assessment and you must then book an appointment. The assessment may take two to three hours.
You may be assessed on any of the competencies listed in the national standards including competencies for Certificates of a lower grade.
The following vessels require a survey certificate to operate in NSW waters:
1) All Class 1 vessels
2) Class 2A, 2B and 2C vessels
3) Class 2D and Class 2E vessels that
- carry passengers, or
- carry fuel or dangerous goods, or
- are equipped with dredging machinery and have a total brake power of 500kW or more, or
- are equipped with pile driving equipment, or
- are landing vessels, or
- are mooring or crane vessels with a crane lifting capacity of more than 3 tonnes, or
- are 7.5 metres or more in length, or
- are tugs (vessels primarily designed to be used to tow other vessels or floating plant or equipment), or
- are used for thrill or adventure rides, or
- are novel craft
4) Class 3A,3B and 3C vessels
5) Class 3D and Class 3E vessels that are 7.5m or more in length
6) Class 4C vessels (excluding human powered vessels)
7) Class 4D and Class 4E powered vessels that are 7.5m or more in length.
These vessels must comply with the design, construction and equipment requirements of the National Standard for Commercial Vessels.
To conduct an event in NSW Waters, apply for an aquatic event licence
An Aquatic Licence is required by any person or organisation conducting, promoting or organising a race, competition or exhibition or any other activity which restricts the availability of navigable waters for normal use by the public. Penalties apply for conducting an event /activity without an aquatic licence. Applications for aquatic licences, supporting documentation and an appropriate fee must be submitted to Roads and Maritime Services a minimum of six weeks prior to commencement of the event/activity, otherwise the application may be refused.
Certificate of Operation - Make a Periodic Payment
Hire and drive vessels are commercial vessels that are hired to the public for recreational use. These vessels must have a Certificate of Operation to operate under a hire and drive licence and categories include:
• Powered vessels less than 7.5 metres in length, including ‘tinnies’ and PWC.
• Passive (unpowered) vessels less than 10 metres in length such as a rowboat, canoe, kayak, pedalcraft, catamaran or sailing vessel.
• Traditional houseboats and motorboats with a potential speed less than 10 knots.
Additionally hire and drive vessels 7.5m or more in length, operating offshore or fitted with overnight accommodation require a Certificate of Survey. These vessels must comply with the design, construction and safety equipment requirements of the National Standard for Commercial Vessels Part F Section 2.
Pay and renew your recreational Boat Driving Licence online. Advise change of contact details.Renew your Vessel Registration online
Pay and renew your recreational or Commercial Vessel Licence Online. Advise change of contact details.Certificate of Operation - Make a Periodic Payment
Certificate of Operation - Make a Periodic PaymentCheck Mooring Priority Waiting List
Check waiting list for a mooring siteRenew your Commercial Mooring Licence online (annual payments only)
Pay and renew your Commercial Mooring Licence in full online.List of Current aquatic events
Look up the current list of all approved aquatic events in NSW
Agents sign in to the Maritime Mobile PortalBoating Handbook
The Roads and Maritime Services Boating Handbook will help you learn the rules and be prepared for all situations when you are on the water.Find a registry or service centre
Look up Roads and Maritime offices, services and facilities on a map of NSWFind a Boatcode Agent
Look up boatcode agents on a map of NSWBoating Industry Association of NSW
Representing the boating and marine industry in NSWAustralian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
Federal agency for maritime safety and protection of marine environment.Boating Industries Alliance Australia
National peak body for the recreational and light commercial boating