Boaters and personal watercraft operators can now obtain a boating safety certificate by successfully completing an approved online course.
Until now, the only option for the 20,000 people seeking a boating safety certificate in New York each year was to complete an eight-hour classroom-based course.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law in 2013 requiring anyone born on or after May 1, 1996, to obtain a boating safety certificate before operating a motorboat. The law also authorized the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) to approve Internet-based boater education courses.
Two internet-based boating education providers now offer the course in New York. Fees are set by the providers. Links to approved courses can be found on the Parks website at http://nysparks.com/recreation/boating/boating-safety-class.aspx.
After successfully completing the course, a boating safety certificate will be issued. Boaters will then have the option of having the certification reflected on their NYS Driver Licenses, Non-Driver IDs or Learner Permits through the New York Adventure License program. The personalized Adventure License, which includes an anchor icon on the identification card, eliminates the need to carry a separate boating safety certificate. For more information on the Adventure License, visit licensecenter.ny.gov.
These courses are approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), a national organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. This new format will now augment New York’s existing classroom course of instruction, which when it was established in 1959 became the nation’s first such program.
The State Parks Marine Service Unit is responsible for the general coordination of boating safety programs and supports marine law enforcement efforts across the state, including patrols, training and funding for local marine enforcement activities.
For more information about boating safety – including listings of boating safety courses – and marine recreation in New York State, visit www.nysparks.com/recreation/boating.
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