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Boating Law Questions and Answers

Based on Material Supplied by
Lt. Donald E. Baker, JN
Raritan Bay Power Squadron

Question:

I took the USPS Boating course many years ago, but I can not locate my certificate.  How do I obtain my New Jersey certificate?

Answer:

If you know the name of the squadron with which you took the course, contact USPS headquarters 1-888-367-8777, extension 230 and they may be able to provide a duplicate USPS completion certificate.  If you do not know the name of the squadron, but know the year in which you took the course, they may be able to locate your record.  In some instances they may be able to locate you by your Social Security number.  Look at the list of New Jersey squadrons and the name may refresh the memory. 

 

Question:

I took a boating safety course with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, but cannot locate my certificate.

Answer:

Contact the Coast Guard Auxiliary http://nws.cgaux.org/index.html

 

Question:

When do I have to complete a boating safety course?

Answer:

C.12:7-61.1 Schedule for completion of mandatory boat safety course.

Before operating a power vessel, including a personal watercraft, on the waterways of the State of New Jersey, the mandatory boat safety course required by section 2 of P.L.1987, c.453 (C.12:7-61) shall be successfully completed as follows:

As of June 1, 2009 All persons must have completed the course before operating a power vessel.

 

Question:

I plan to operate a jet ski.  Do I need to take a course?

Answer: 

All persons operating a jet ski (personal watercraft) must have taken a course and have a NJ Marine Police certificate.  Persons under 16 years of age may not operate a Jet Ski.

 

Question:

I heard that an “experienced boater” may not have to take a course but merely pass an exam is this true?

Answer:

An "experienced boater" has been defined by the NJ State Marine Police as someone with a minimum of 100 hours of boating experience.  Such persons are able to take a "Test Out" examination administered under strict state guidelines.  Such persons will have one chance to pass and if they do, will receive state certification.  If they fail, they will be required to take a NASBLA approved course.
 

 

Question:

How old do you have to be to obtain a State certificate?

Answer:

Persons 13 years of age can take a course, such as the USPS course, and if they pass the exam they will be issued a USPS certificate of completion, but NJ will not issue its certificate until the person reaches the age of 16.  The state holds the information in a computer and will issue the certificate at that time if applied for. 

 

Question:

What are the age restrictions for children to operate a boat?

Answer:

A person age 13 to 16  who has taken a boating course and has a certificate certifying that the person has successfully completed an approved boating safety course may operate a boat which is 12 feet or greater in length and powerd by a motor or combination of motors of less than 10 HP. 

 

Question:

Can a person from another state, New York or Connecticut for instance, operate a boat in NJ waters without taking a NJ approved course?

Answer:

A person who is 16 years of age or older who has in his possession a certificate proving that the person has taken a comparable course in another state may operate a vessel in NJ waters for 90 days.

 

Question:

Can I take the course online?

Answer:

There is no online course at this time, and if and when one is developed, it will require the equivalent of 8 hours of classroom study and a proctored exam. 

 

Question:

Do you have to take a course with classroom study or can I just self-study?

Answer:

The law requires 8 hours of classroom study and a proctored exam. 

 

Question:

Can a person who purchases a boat from a dealer operate it without taking a course first?

Answer:

If the dealer provides the purchaser with an approved pre-purchase instruction course, the purchaser may operate it for 30 days before being required to pass a safety course.

 

Question:

Is the USPS boating course approved by New Jersey. 

Answer:

Yes, the USPS Boating course certificate is recognized by every state.

 

Read the complete act by clicking on the link below

 

http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=172147&Depth=2&TD=WRAP&advquery=%2212%3a7-60%22&depth=4&expandheadings=on&headingswithhits=on&hitsperheading=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&rank=&record={3865}&softpage=Doc_Frame_PG42&wordsaroundhits=2&x=32&y=13&zz=