Recreational boaters must obtain a Safe Boating Certificate (SBC) in order to operate any recreational vessel registered in Connecticut, with the exception of personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis. A Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation, once obtained, allows an individual to operate any recreational vessel including personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis.
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- First, complete an approved basic boating operation course or pass the equivalency examination administered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
- Once you've finished the course or passed the test successfully, you can apply for a Safe Boating Certificate; the cost is $25.00. Use this request form to receive the application.
- If you intend to operate a personal watercraft, such as a Jet Ski, you'll also need to take an approved Personal Watercraft Class.
- To get a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation, you must present: Safe Boating Certificate, diploma from Personal Watercraft class and Form EPBS5A - Application for Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation. This application, which must be notarized, can be requested online.
- The fee for a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation is $25.00.
- Any person required to have a Safe Boating Certificate and/or a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation must have their certificates on board at all times while operating the vessel.
- If you have purchased and registered a new or used boat, you may apply for a temporary Safe Boating Certificate and/or a temporary Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation. Each is valid for a period of six months, during which you must qualify for and obtain your permanent certificate(s). The fee for a temporary Safe Boating Certificate or temporary Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation is $25.00. You may only obtain one temporary certificate.
- Both the Safe Boating Certificate and the Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation are issued for the individual's lifetime; no renewals are required.
- Boat operator licensing is overseen by: Marine Headquarters, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371, 860-434-8638. Call them to obtain necessary forms and course schedules. There is also a DEP Licensing office in Hartford at 79 Elm Street, 860-424-3105 where you can obtain and submit the forms necessary to obtain a Connecticut boating license.
- Children under 12 who have been issued the Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation cannot operate a vessel powered with a motor of greater than 10 horsepower unless accompanied on board by a licensed boater 18 or older.
- If you already hold a valid Boating and/or Personal Watercraft certification issued by New York, Massachusetts or Rhode Island, you may use that certification to operate a boat in Connecticut.
- If you are an experienced boater, you may opt to take an equivalency examination in order to qualify for a safe boating certificate. The fee to take the test is $25. Complete this form to apply to take the equivalency examination.