Boat Licence – FAQ

Frequently asked questions on obtaining your boat licence and PWC endorsement:

What type of certificate will be issued on successful completion of the course?

A Maritime Safety Victoria "Certificate of Attainment For Marine Licence Training" will be issued. The Certificate is valid for 12 month only from the date of issue which is usually on the course day. This is NOT a licence to drive, it must be submited to Vic Roads in person first.

What topics are covered in the boat licence course?

The course covers:

• Trip preperation
• Safe operation
• Basic Collision Rules & Regulation
• Vessel lights
• IALA Buoyage System System "A"
• Following seas, head and beam seas
• Weather, winds and waves
• Crossing Bars
• Rivers and Inland Waters
• Emergency (Fire, MOB)
• Cold water, hypothermia
• Personal Watercraft (PWC)
… and more

When will I know the results of the assessment?

On completion of the assessment

What happens if I don't pass the assessment?

You will receive additional tuition and you can try again on the night. You can only be re-assessed twice on any given day. Alternatively, within three months of the original course, you can attend any of our courses at no additional fee and repeat the assessment. After three 3 months a full course fee will apply.

Where can I find all of the boat licence course details and requirements?

A full and detailed Victorian Recreational Boat Operators Course and PWC Endorsement Course Sheet (PDF) covering amongs other topics, proof of identity, complaints, refund policy, recognition of prior learning and many more can be found on this website.

Can I drive a boat or jetski on the Maritime Safety Victoria Certificate issued by you?

No, penalties apply if you do. You must first submit the Maritime Safety Victoria Certificate, in person, to Vic Roads, pay the Vic Roads licence fee and only then you can drive a boat or jetski. The link to Vic Roads course fees is on this website.

How much time do I have to submit the Maritime Safety Victoria certificate to Vic Roads?

You must submit the Certificate within 12 months from the date printed on the Certificate which is the date of the course. Once it expires, you will be required to attend a full assessment.

Will you conduct marine licence course at a private residence?

No, Transport Safety Victoria rules stipulate the training premises must be a commercial venue and must comply with OH&S requirements, must be a suitable size to accommodate all participants in comfort, safety and must have clean amenities.

What do I need to bring with me?

You MUST bring with you your Evidence of Identity (refer to this website for details) and fee payable on the night prior to starting the course. We provide a comprehensive Learner’s Guide and the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook.

Do you guarantee a pass?

No, to guarantee a pass would be highly illegal. We endeavour to make the courses easy to understand, interactive with videos shown and comprehensive revision. If you do not pass the first time, you can try again on the night but if you still need a little more time to study, you can re-do the test, after 24 hours, at any of our course locations free of charge. However, you must pass the test within 3 months of the original course date otherwise a full course fee will apply.

What is the course duration, how long does it take?

It varies, usually 30 minutes for registration, 3 hours course presentation and tuition, answers and questions and 30 minutes for assessment, all about 4 hours but this is dependent on student participation which is always welcomed and encouraged.

How many questions are in the test and what is the minimum pass mark?

The test is a multiple choice test with 30 questions for Marine Licence (boat licence) and, if you want to drive a PWC (Jet Ski), additional 15 multiple choice questions. You need 26 out of 30 questions correct to pass boat licence and 13 out of 15 questions correct to pass the PWC Endorsement

I already have a boat licence but it is not endorsed for jetski. Can I enrol for the jetski component only or do I have to attend the full course?

You have to attend the full course. Jet Ski is simply another boat and the full course include components that are common to both, boat and Jet Ski. It is a Maritime Safety Victoria requirement that person who already has a boat licence and wish to upgrade it for the PWC Endorsement, attend the full course.

When do I need a Marine Licence?

In Victoria and all other States except for Northern Territory, it is mandatory to have a marine licence if you want to drive a boat fitted with motor, for example, in Victoria canoes, kayaks, rowing boats, small sailing boats, no matter what size and speed. In other words, if a motor of any type is fitted, a marine licence is required.

I only want to drive a PWC, I am not interested in boats. Can I attend the PWC component only?

No, PWC is a vessel and as such is subject to the same rules, regulations and by-laws applicable to all vessels and therefore to drive a PWC a full marine licence with endorsement for PWC is required.

What is the minimum age for a boat licence?

The minimum age is 12 years. The young mariner will be issued with a restricted licence which will be automatically upgraded to a full licence on their 16th birthday. However to be eligible for PWC endorsement, you must be 16 years of age

My children are a few weeks short of 12 years of age, can they attend the course and test?

No, the rules stipulate children must be a minimum 12 years of age before they can attend the course.

What does ‘restricted licence’ mean?

Restricted licence is issued to young mariners between the ages of 12 to 16 years. It means the young skipper is restricted to daylight hours only, maximum speed of 10 knots (18.52 kms) and must not be involved in any water towing activities, e.g., such as skiing or similar.

I would like to study prior to the course, is there a book to study?

Although not necessary, we highly recommend to peruse the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook, particularly children as some of the wording in the Handbook can be a little difficult to understand. The Handbook can be down loaded from Transport Safety Victoria via the link on our website or obtained, free of charge, from any Vic Roads office.

When towing a water skier, do I have right of way?

No, you do not have right of way. Towing a water skier or anything else for that matter such as a boat, biscuits etc ... does not give you automatic right of way over other boats. You must give right of way to boats on your right (starboard) and all sailing, rowing and large vessels at all times even if they are on your left (port) side.

Is the Victorian Marine Licence valid overseas?

No, the Victorian Marine Licence is not valid overseas, it is valid in Australia only.

My knowledge of English language is limited, can I still attend?

To attend a course a reasonable standard of literacy, numeracy and understanding of the English language is expected.

Please call us prior to attending a course.

Do I get the Marine Licence on the day of the course?

No, you must submit to VicRoads, in person, the "Certificate of Attainment For Marine Licence Training" issued by us on the day of the course. The Certificate is valid for 12 month only from the date of issue which is usually on the course day.
The Certificate is NOT a licence to drive,

I am under 16 years old and I currently have a PWC endorsement on my licence. Is it still valid?

Yes. Existing endorsements will remain valid.

Can I take the course for a PWC endorsement before I turn 16?

Yes. If you are aged 15 years you can do the course and take the test. Depending on your age, there will be a window of opportunity for you to obtain your endorsed licence on or after your sixteenth birthday and before the expiry date of the Certificate of Attainment (valid for 12 months).

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