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Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need a boat licence?

In NSW you must have a general boat licence to drive any vessel over a speed of 10kts (18.5km/h).  That is to say that if you intend to drive a vessel at a speed that will allow the vessel to plane, you need a general boat licence.

In Victoria (Vic), you need a marine licence as soon as you drive any power driven vessel at any speed.  This includes boats, PWCs and even things like canoes or kayaks if they have a motor of any size fitted.

When do I need a Personal Watercraft (PWC) licence?

In NSW & Vic you must have a PWC licence to drive a PWC at any speed.  A PWC licence is an upgraded licence from a general boat/marine licence.  It requires an additional PWC Safety Course and an additional PWC licence test.

What is a BSC/BLC?

A BSC is a boating safety course.  A BLC is our Boating Licence Course.  As of 1 July, 2016, the NSW Boating Safety Course no longer exists and is NO LONGER compulsory to attend to obtain a NSW boating licence.  If you choose to do so, you can still attend one of our Boating Licence Courses where we present our comprehensive course, do some revision and then conduct the NSW Boating Licence Exam in a relaxed and friendly environment.  The same applies for Victorian residents.  Vic residents may choose to attend a course like ours and then attempt the exam after the course. 

How long does the course and testing take?

As a general rule, allow about 5 hours to complete our BLC and test.  The time taken depends on the number of people in the course and the student’s uptake of the information provided to get them through the exam.

What does the exam entail?

NSW - The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions.  You must get 100% correct in the first 20 questions and then at least 24/30 in the remaining 30 questions to pass the exam.

Vic - The exam consists of 30 multiple choice questions.  You must achieve a result of at least 26/30 to pass the exam.

What if I fail the exam?

If you fail the exam you will be provided the opportunity to re-sit the exam on the day.  If the 2nd attempt is failed, you won’t be able to re-sit another exam on the day but you will be able to attend any of our other courses at no additional cost within 12 months of your initial attendance at one of our courses.

Do I get my boat licence on the day?

No.  For NSW students, you will be given a licence application form that will show Roads & Maritime (RMS) staff you have successfully completed the General Boat Licence Knowledge Exam.  You will need to take that form along with a completed RMS Logbook to your local RMS Office and pay the relevant licence fee to RMS to obtain your licence.  There are no further exams to complete at RMS.

For Victorian residents, you will receive a Certificate of Successful Completion to take to your local Vic Roads Office.  All you have to do there is pay the relevant licence fee to them.  there are no further exams to complete at Vic Roads.

How do I complete my NSW Maritime log book?

Simply complete the activities in the log book with someone who has held their boat licence for at least three (3) years over the course of three (3) trips.  The trips can be conducted on the same day and can be of any length of time.  the logbook is not hours based so your trip may have taken a minute, an hour or the whole day.  Bear in mind that RMS can and do conduct random audits on the logbooks to ensure their integrity.

Will RMS & Vic Roads charge me a fee?

Yes.  You will need to pay the appropriate licence fee to RMS or Vic Roads to obtain your licence.

How old must you be to get a boat licence?

A junior (less than 16 yrs of age)/restricted licence is available for persons aged between 12 to 16 years. The junior/restricted licence is a restricted licence but it does allow the licence holder to act as an observer when you are involved in towing activities such as wakeboarding, water skiing and the like in NSW.

Can I get a general boating handbook from you to help me study?

Unfortunately both NSW Maritime and Maritime Safety Victoria are no longer providing hard copies of their Safe Boating Handbooks to us to give to students or hand out at courses.  You are able to attend an RMS Office to obtain a NSW Safe Boating Handbook.  The Victorian version of the boating handbook is no longer being printed and are becoming increasingly difficult to find.  You are able to view or download soft copies of the handbook.  We have the links for these on various pages on our website.

Where do you do your courses?

Border Boat Licence is based in Albury and we are willing to travel 300-400km from Albury.  Minimum numbers may apply in some areas.  Just call or email and ask about us coming to you.  We are hoping to offer more courses in a wider part of Victoria this season if we are able to find suitable instructors to run the course for us.

What do I need to bring to the course?

Just your ID and a pen and paper to take notes on.  Everything else will be provided on the day.  See our Proof Of Identification - NSW or Evidence of Identity - Vic pages for more info about what is acceptable ID.  Young adults will need their parent or guardian to attend as well with their ID as well as giving their consent.

I have trouble with written exams.  Can you help me with doing an oral exam?

Yes we can.  Just get in contact with us and we will do our best to accommodate you.  Alternatively, RMS and Vic Roads can provide interpreters or other assistance at no cost to you.

Can I use my boat licence in other States?

Yes you can.  A boat licence is like a car licence in that it is recognized in other States and Territories in Australia.  If you intend on staying in that State or Territory for more than 3 months, you will need to swap your existing licence to the corresponding State’s licence.

What does PWC stand for?

Personal Water Craft or more commonly known as a jet ski.  Jet Ski is a trademark belonging to Kawasaki and cannot be used without their permission.

How do I get a PWC licence?

You must hold a general boat licence first and then upgrade to a PWC licence.  You can complete a boat licence and PWC licence course with us on the same day.  There is an additional course and test required to get a PWC licence.  If you already have a boat licence you can just attend the PWC upgrade course which is typically held after the boat licence course and testing.  

Can I use my PWC before I get a licence?

No.  You must hold a PWC licence before you drive a PWC in NSW and/or Vic.  If you are caught driving a PWC without a licence you WILL be fined.  The fine is currently $500 in NSW.

Is there a logbook for the PWC licence?

No not for the PWC licence.  If you are doing both your boat and PWC licence then you will need a log book for your boat licence.



Boat Licence Course Calendar