Maritime Licences

General Boat Licence and PWC Licence

Boat courseMarine Rescue Terrigal offers Boat and PWC Licence courses and tests. These are run by experienced skippers, who can teach you the ins and outs of safe boat handling and help build your confidence in local navigation and pilot rules.

Rates for Marine Rescue courses are extremely competitive and your fees make a valuable contribution to your local unit’s funds and our lifesaving services.

NSW Roads and Maritime Services is the authority responsible for setting boat licence regulations in this State.

If you drive a recreational boat at a speed of 10 knots (18.5 km/h) or more, you must have a boat driver’s licence. Ten knots is the speed at which most accelerating boats will start to plane – that is, rise up and skim on top of the water instead of ploughing through it.

Anyone who drives a personal watercraft (PWC) at ANY speed must have a PWC Licence.

Young Adult Licences also are available for those aged 12 to 16 years.

To obtain an initial General Boat or PWC licence, you must:

  • Complete the compulsory General Licence Boating Safety Course (or for PWC applicants, the PWC Licence Boating Safety Course);
  • Provide evidence of practical boating experience; and
  • Successfully undertake the general licence knowledge test (or PWC licence knowledge test) at a NSW Roads and Maritime Services service centre or recognised training provider (RTP), including Marine Rescue NSW.

A boat licence will not be issued to you until you have successfully completed all three components. For detailed information on what you need to do to get a boat licence, visit

You should study the Maritime Boating Handbook before attending the course. The handbook is available as a download, from your local NSW Roads and Maritime Services office or Marine Rescue NSW unit.

Once you have completed a Marine Rescue NSW licence course, your assessment will be based on your score in the NSW Roads and Maritime Services accredited Recreational Boat Licence Knowledge Quiz and your class participation.

Once you’ve passed the quiz, you will receive:

  • A Certificate of Satisfactory Course Completion to present to NSW Roads and Maritime Services (you will also need evidence of your practical boating experience or successful completion of your accredited practical boat handling course); and
  • A Statement of Attainment Certificate issued by Marine Rescue NSW.


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