Who Needs a Boating Certificate?
To legally operate any boat with a motor, or a sailboat 19 1/2 feet in length or longer,
must have either
Personal Watercraft (PWC) only (i.e. trademarked brand names Jet Ski, Wave Runner, Sea-Doo) Any person operating a personal watercraft must possess either
Connecticut recognizes certificates from New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island for use upon our waters.
Non-Resident Certificate Requirements
Connecticut recognizes a valid Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation issued by a reciprocal state (NY, MA, RI or NH) for those persons not residing in CT and wishing to operate a PWC in CT. Once a person holding a certificate from a reciprocal state makes CT their permanent residence, he or she must obtain a CT boating certificate within 90 days of becoming a CT resident. Personal watercraft (i.e. jet ski, wave runner, sea-doo) operators MUST have a recognized Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation to operate legally.
Safe Boating Certificate
A Safe Boating Certificate (SBC) will allow an individual to operate any recreational vessel, except a personal watercraft on Connecticut’s waters. In order to meet the requirements for a Safe Boating Certificate (SBC), an individual must:
Note: Save the diploma from the course/exam. You will need it to apply for your Safe Boating Certificate in person.
Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation
A Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO) allows an individual to operate any recreational vessel including a personal watercraft. Please see Age Restrictions below for operating boats with engines greater than 10 horsepower and personal watercraft. In order to meet the requirements for a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO), an individual must:
Any person possessing a Safe Boating Certificate (SBC), a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO) or a valid vessel operator license issued by the USCG needs to have the certificate and/or license on board at all times while operating a vessel. A certificate is valid for the life of the person to whom it is issued and may be issued regardless of age.
The certificate may be suspended upon conviction of operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Owners who knowingly permit an underage child to operate their vessel without a SBC or CPWO when one is required will be held accountable for the actions of the child.
Coastal Boater Endorsement Program
Boaters may obtain a Coastal Boater Endorsement for their Safe Boating or Personal Watercraft Certificate by completing a course in coastal navigation. This class is above and beyond what is taught in a basic boating course which provides an introduction to boating safety. A navigation course is especially critical for coastal boaters. Some topics include Longitude/Latitude, time, distance, speed calculations, chart plotting, GPS and more. After successful completion, the endorsement will be printed on your certificate.
NEW – Safe Waterskiing Endorsement
To operate a vessel that is engaged in tubing or waterskiing you must;
Exception: If, prior to October 1, 2015, you obtained a valid license issued by the USCG or a valid boating certificate issued by CT, MA, NH, NY or RI, you are not required to have a Safe Water skiing Endorsement.
Persons who are younger than 16 years of age, or who do not have a valid license issued by the USCG or a valid boating certificate issued by CT, MA, NH, NY or RI, are not eligible to operate a vessel engaged in tubing or water skiing.
Some related links: