All you need to know about applications for your NJ boating license / card / endorsement.

New Jersey requires a Boater Education Card for boaters, and issues a boating license for motorboats and jet skis. In order to get a license you have to visit a Motor Vehicles Commission Agency with your boating certificate and ID proof. The regulatory authority for the card is New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau. As of June1, 2008 the card is mandatory for all boat operators born in 1949 or later. From June 1, 2009 it will be mandatory for all boat operators irrespective of age.

If you are under 13 years of age, you are not allowed to operate any power vessel.


The following persons are exempt from the above requirements:

  • Boat operators possessing a valid boaters’ license issued by the U.S Coast Guard.
  • Operators operating a motorboat for 90 days or lesser. The boat rental company must instruct such operators on how to operate the boat safely and give them a summary of the boating law. However they must have a Boater Safety Certificate issued by their State.
  • Boater Safety Certificate is not required on non-motorized vessels.


To obtain the Boater Education Card, you must complete a boater education course approved by the New Jersey State Police or pass an approved equivalency test.

In an approved course, students learn how to operate and maintain their boats, the legal requirements for boating, and what to do in emergencies. This ensures that boating remains a safe and fun experience.

There are various approved ways you can complete the course and obtain the card:

  1. Three classroom options offered by New Jersey Boating Safety Classes, the U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary and US Power Squadrons.
    • The course duration is a minimum of eight hours.
    • To pass the course, you must get 80% of the answers right on the exam administered at the end of the course.
  2. The Boater Education Card is either handed out at the end of class, or mailed to you within 45 days.
  3. Only the card issued after a classroom course is recognized in most other states, and by many insurance companies for insurance discounts.
  4. Although online manuals and courses on boating safety may be studied for an in depth understanding, these are not recognized by the New Jersey State Police. A proctored classroom course and exam approved by them must be taken to obtain the boating certificate.


A boating license can only be applied in person at the MVC Agency. To get the license, you must be at least 16 years old and need to:

  1. Submit proof of completion of the boater safety course.
  2. Submit a letter of parental consent if you are under 17 years of age.
  3. Complete the required 6-point ID verification process.
  4. Pay the license fee of $24 for a new license or $16 for an endorsement on your existing driver license. Payment is accepted in cash, checks, money order, and credit/debit cards (American Express/MasterCard/Visa).


The boating license shall expire four years from the last day of the month in which the license was originally issued and every four years thereafter.


To replace a license visit an MVC Agency, complete the required 6-point ID verification process and pay the replacement fee of $11 for a duplicate operator’s license.


  • While liability insurance is not mandatory for boating in New Jersey, it is a good idea to have liability insurance to tide over troubles if you or someone operating your boat is involved in a boating accident.
  • Read the New Jersey Boating Safety Manual and Boating Facts.
  • See how to register your boat in New Jersey.
  • Check the contact information of New Jersey Marine Services Bureau Stations.
Last updated on Friday, November 9 2018.

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