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Recreational & Commercial Boating Recreational & Commercial Boating

Roads & Maritime Services

Boat or Personal Watercraft Driving Licence

  • Boat Driving Licence

    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.


  • Roads & Maritime Services
    Locked Bag 5100
    Camperdown NSW 1450
    13 77 88
Roads & Maritime Services

Vessel Registration

  • Vessel Registration

    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).


  • Roads & Maritime Services
    Locked Bag 5100
    Camperdown NSW 1450
    13 77 88
Roads & Maritime Services

Private Mooring

  • Private Mooring Licence

    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.


  • Roads & Maritime Services
    Locked Bag 5100
    Camperdown NSW 1450
    13 77 88
Roads & Maritime Services

Commercial Mooring

  • Commercial Mooring Licence

    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.


  • Roads & Maritime Services
    Locked Bag 5100
    Camperdown NSW 1450
    13 77 88
Roads & Maritime Services

Aquatic Events

  • Aquatic Events 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.


  • Roads & Maritime Services
    Locked Bag 5100
    Camperdown NSW 1450
    13 12 36

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