Maine residents need to get a boat certification in ME if they want to legally operate a motorboat or watercraft on waterways within the state. Since the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) does not issue a boating license, individuals may have to complete a safety course in order to obtain a certificate of completion that will serve them as a document needed when operating a boat. To get a certificate in Maine, residents need to complete the corresponding course and also satisfy certain eligibility criteria.

Apart from satisfying the Maine boat license requirements, such as age criteria and course providers, boaters will also be mandated to obey the state’s laws, rules and regulations. To discover more information about how and where to get a license or certificate in Maine, continue reading the following sections.

Do you need a license to drive a boat in Maine?

Residents of Maine are not required to hold a boating license since the MDIFW does not issue licenses for operating boats. However, the MDIFW requires residents to enroll in a boaters safety course and complete it successfully in order to operate a boat or water vessel.

Completing a boating education course may prove beneficial for individuals who want to learn how to maintain and operate a watercraft. However, this course is mandatory for individuals from 16 to 18 years of age, while older residents may choose voluntarily to participate in the course.

Maine Boat License Requirements

Before obtaining a Maine boat safety certificate for operating a water vessel, residents may have to satisfy some eligibility criteria first. The boating license age range for enrollment in a safety course is from 16 to 18 years of age.

Moreover, the requirements stipulate that boaters within this age range must operate a watercraft or motorboat under specific circumstances. For instance, individuals who are between 16 and 18 years of age are prohibited to operate a personal watercraft without holding an identification document proving their age.

Furthermore, they also need to hold a certificate of completion of a course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), except in a situation when they are accompanied by a person who is at least 18 years of age and who occupies the watercraft physically.

Getting a Boat License in Maine

The MDIFW does not issue licenses of operating watercraft and instead requires residents to enroll in a boaters safety course and get a certificate of completion at the end of the course. This certificate may be used for the operation of water vessels and boats.

In order to obtain a boat safety certificate in ME, boaters will have to take lessons online or in a classroom setting, depending on their preference. Individuals only need to choose a method of their choosing for taking a course and complete it successfully.

Maine Boater Safety Courses

A boater safety course in Maine is available either online or in a classroom setting. ME residents may choose one of the two offered methods, depending on their personal preference. A classroom boating course can be taken at a local Recreational Safety Division Office.

Individuals who want to register by phone or email must provide their full names, telephone numbers and the course, date and location of their choosing. The classroom course has a total duration of six hours, divided into the following parts:

  • Three hours on proper operation and safety
  • 30 minutes on state laws
  • 40 minutes on emergencies and survival
  • 20 minutes on self help first aid
  • 90 minutes on environment/ethics

Residents who are unable to take the classroom course may choose to complete the education program via the Internet. The online boating course is available via three different course providers, all of which are NASBLA-approved. Taking an online course enables individuals to take boating lessons at their convenience.

Some of the online course providers may also require residents to submit payment for a course fee. Therefore, when choosing the most suitable online boaters safety course in Maine, make sure to learn whether you will have to pay any fees.

Renewing and Replacing a Maine Boating License

Since the MDIFW does not issue a license, residents need to know that they may not have to renew a boat card in Maine. However, if boaters lose their boat safety certificate cards, they are recommended to contact their course provider. The course of their choosing may provide them with a replacement card.

Maine Boat Registration Basics

ME residents must perform a boat registration procedure for the boats they own, prior to operating them on state waterways. The DMV boat registration documentation may be submitted at the Augusta Fish and Wildlife central office, while it may also be performed through municipal tax collectors or town clerks who are recreational vehicle agents for the MDIFW.

Boaters may register their boats or water vessels online or in person at a nearby location by providing the necessary paperwork. Moreover, ME residents who are getting a registration for their boats may also have to pay an excise tax, or complete a tax exemption form, if the boat is exempt from tax. For new registrations, boat owners may also have to submit proof of payment of sales tax.

Maine Boating Rules and Regulations

Getting a boat certification in Maine requires boaters to obey the state boating laws, as well as the imposed rules and regulations for operating a motorboat or watercraft. The rules determine the requirements for getting a boating certificate, as well as the regulations that allow an individual to operate a boat.

The requirements include the age criteria for getting a card, as well as the safety criteria, equipment and the possible penalties. Boaters must learn which regulations and rules refer to their specific situation, in order to know how to behave on open waterways.

Maine Boating License Fees

When completing a Maine boaters safety course, ME residents may be required to submit payment for certain fees, depending on the course provider they choose. Some of the online boating course providers require their students to pay fees for taking the course.

Therefore, prior to enrolling in a course, individuals are recommended to contact the course provider that they plan to choose and inquire more information about a requirement for paying course fees.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.