New York State Boating Certification
Jed Dietrich, Esq. and His Team of Lawyers and Paralegals at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. Want to Help Boaters Stay Safe on the Waterways of Western New York and Throughout New York State.
Western New York offers a variety of beautiful lakes and waterways. From the Great Lakes and the Niagara River, to Chautauqua Lake and the Finger Lakes, the incredible landscape of our region provides many destinations for boating and lake activities. At the same time, these activities pose a risk. According to the New York State Parks Department, boating accidents claimed 17 lives in 2018. While boating accidents have many causes, it is important to be as prepared as possible before you operate a motorized watercraft of any sort.
New York State certification requirements necessary to operate all watercrafts will change in January of 2020. The laws surrounding the operation of a boat or personal watercraft (PWC) can be complicated and difficult to understand, partially because they have changed greatly in the past two decades. At the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. our team of Buffalo, New York boating accident injury attorneys want you to better understand these rules in order to to keep you, your loved ones and all others enjoying a day on the water safe.
In August of 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Brianna's Law, which introduced new regulations surrounding the operation of motorized watercrafts. The new law has changed requirements for boater certification, so it is important to understand how these changes impact you.
Brianna’s Law will require certification for ANY operator of a power boat by 2025, with a five-year phase-in program applying to motorized watercrafts beginning in 2020. Brianna’s Law aims to ensure that boaters have a basic level of knowledge before they are able to operate a boat. By requiring boaters to take a safety course, New York is working to make our waters safer for everyone.
Brianna’s Law will be implemented in phases. Please note the following chart provided by the New York State Parks Department to determine when you will need to be certified:
|If you were born on or after:||You will need a boating safety certificate by:|
|January 1, 1993||2020|
|January 1, 1988||2022|
|January 1, 1983||2023|
|January 1, 1978||2024|
|REGARDLESS OF AGE, ALL MOTOR BOAT OPERATORS WILL NEED A BOATING SAFETY CERTIFICATE BY JANUARY 1, 2025|
You must have your boater safety certificate present with you on the watercraft. Failure to comply with Brianna’s law could result in fines ranging from $100.00 to $250.00. Brianna’s law is effective January 1, 2020.
WERE YOU INJURED IN A MOTORBOAT ACCIDENT IN BUFFALO, NIAGARA FALLS, ROCHESTER OR OTHER PARTS OF NEW YORK STATE? CALL JED DIETRICH, ESQ. AND HIS TEAM OF BUFFALO, NEW YORK MOTORBOAT ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT 716-839-3939 NOW TO OBTAIN THE HELP THAT YOU NEED!
In New York State, certification requirements depend on the type of watercraft.
Certification requirements for a Personal Watercraft, also known as a PWC, differ from those regarding motorboats. A PWC is typically a smaller, single-person watercraft. The most common type of PWC is a JetSki or Wave Runner.
If you would like to operate a PWC, you must be at least 14 years of age. It is required that all operators of a PWC in New York State possess a boating safety certificate.
Boats that are self-propelled or operated without the aid of a motor require no certification. These types of boats include kayaks, canoes, row boats, sailboats and more. Although a certification is not required, New York State still strongly encourages all those who might operate ANY type of watercraft to take a boater safety course.
For watercrafts that are considered professional or commercial, operators are required to:
- Be 18 years of age, or older;
- Pass the Public Vessel Operator License examination; and
- Have their vessel inspected by a New York State Parks Marine Services Bureau marine inspector.
WERE YOU INJURED IN A PERSONAL WATERCRAFT ACCIDENT IN BUFFALO, NIAGARA FALLS, ROCHESTER OR OTHER PARTS OF NEW YORK STATE? CALL JED DIETRICH, ESQ. AND HIS TEAM OF PERSONAL WATERCRAFT ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN BUFFALO, NEW YORK AT 716-839-3939 TODAY TO OBTAIN THE HELP THAT YOU NEED!
In New York State, the boater safety certification for recreational watercraft use is not considered a license. The process to get the boater safety certification is simple, but there are some important details to note:
- You must take a New York State-approved boater safety certification course;
- Courses can be taken in person or online;
- Courses take approximately 8 hours but duration depends on the provider;
- You can get certified for boats and PWC at the same time;
- Boater certification typically requires a fee of $10.00; and
- You must be at least 10 years of age to take a boater safety certification course.
The New York State Parks service offers a list of locations and online services that offer boater safety certification.
If you have already been certified, you do not need to take another boater safety certification course, as long as your certification exists in New York State records or you have a physical copy of the certificate. If you were certified before 2000, it is possible that New York State does not have record of your certification in its database, and thus you would need to be recertified if you no longer have a copy of your certificate.
Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team of Buffalo, New York personal injury attorneys wish you well on your boating expeditions. We hope you can enjoy all the beautiful, natural lakes and waterways of our region safely and smartly.
Please remember to be safe when operating a motorboat, PWC or any type of watercraft. Ensure that there are personal floatation devices (PFD) available and accessible for every person on board, regardless of age or size.
The New York State Parks’ page on boating and their page on safe operation can provide you with valuable safety information.
Click here for more information about boating accidents. In the event that you, or a loved one, are in a boating accident in Buffalo, New York; Niagara Falls, New York; Rochester, New York or throughout New York State, contact the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s team of Buffalo, New York boating accident injury attorneys today for your FREE consultation. We are available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week to review your case.
Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 716-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!