Marine licence

In order to operate a motorised boat in Victorian waters you will need a marine licence. This page outlines how to get a marine licence and an endorsement to operate a personal watercraft.

Eligibility

To be issued with a marine licence, you must be at least 12 years of age.

Restricted marine licence

If you are aged 12 years and less than 16 years you can only apply for a restricted marine licence and a restricted Personal Watercraft (PWC) endorsement.

A restricted marine licence

Marine licence restrictions

The holder of a restricted marine licence cannot be the master of a registered recreational vessel or a regulated hire and drive vessel while the vessel is:

  • operating between sunset and sunrise
  • operating at a speed of 10 knots or more or
  • towing a person, another vessel or an object.

When you reach the age of 16, the above restrictions will be removed. You will not need a new marine licence card until your restricted marine licence card expires.

Marine licence

If you are aged 16 years and over, you can apply for a marine licence and a PWC endorsement.

A marine licence

Interstate and/or overseas marine licence holders

If your interstate and/or overseas marine licence is current or has expired by less than five years, you can get a Victorian marine licence. You must provide documentary evidence in English of holding an interstate or overseas marine licence. See the Using an interpreter or translator page for more information. You'll need to book and pay for an appointment to change your licence over. 

Conditions on the interstate and/or overseas marine licence

If a condition exists on your interstate and/or overseas marine licence it will be transferred to your Victorian marine licence.

Marine licence is suspended, disqualified or cancelled

If your interstate and/or overseas marine licence is suspended or cancelled, or you are disqualified from getting a marine licence, you will not be able to get a Victorian equivalent.

Getting your Victorian marine licence

To get your marine licence you need to take a marine licence knowledge test and an eyesight test. Visit the Visual impairment page for details. If you want to operate a Personal Watercraft (PWC) you will need to take an additional knowledge test to obtain a PWC endorsement.

The marine licence knowledge test can be taken at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre or with an accredited training provider (External link). For a listing of approved training providers go to the Maritime Safety Victoria website (External link) (External link).

Exceptions from sitting a marine knowledge test

Exceptions from sitting a marine knowledge test are:

  • If you hold a valid Certificate of Competency issued by Transport Safety Victoria (formerly Marine Safety Victoria) in the last ten years and meet the health conditions. Commercial qualifications do not cover PWC endorsements. To obtain a PWC endorsement, you must undertake the PWC endorsement test
  • If you hold an interstate or overseas marine licence and you have been operating in Victoria waters for a period not exceeding three months.

Marine licence knowledge test

The test has 30 multiple choice questions and you must answer at least 26 correctly to pass. There are an additional 15 questions for the personal watercraft endorsement (e.g. jetski) and you need to answer 13 correctly to pass.

These are two separate tests that will require two separate appointments. If you wish to complete both tests you must advise VicRoads when booking your appointments.

The test is available in English only and interpreters can be provided by VicRoads for applicants who speak a language other than English. Auslan interpreters can also be provided for deaf applicants.

Validity of test results

Marine licence knowledge tests taken at a VicRoads customer service centre are only valid for 12 months. If you don't pay for your marine licence within 12 months from the date you completed your test, you will have to re-sit the marine knowledge test.

Certificates

Accredited training providers will issue you with a certificate which is valid for 12 months when you have passed your marine licence knowledge test and/or PWC endorsement test. Older certificates issued by an accredited training provider that are valid for up to five years from the date of issue will be accepted within this period. The validity period is located at the bottom of the certificate. A list of accredited training providers can be found on the Maritime Safety Victoria website (External link)

To have your marine licence issued you will need to attend a VicRoads Customer Service Centre and supply to the following:

Interstate and overseas marine licence holders

To get a Victorian marine licence you need to make an appointment at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre and bring your documentary evidence in English. You will still retain your interstate or overseas marine licence if you are issued with a Victorian marine licence.

To make a booking you can:

* A card payment fee applies

If you want to change your appointment you will need to pay an additional appointment fee. The test fee can be transferred to a new time (or refunded if the test is cancelled) if at least 24 hours notice is given.

Failure to provide at least 24 hours notice will result in you forfeiting your appointment and test fees. No refund will be provided.

Please note that once the appointment is booked, it can only be changed by the appointment holder.

If you are more than 5 minutes late for your appointment, you will be required to rebook your appointment for the next available timeslot and pay another appointment fee.

There are no concessions available for appointment, test or learner permit fees.

To prepare for your marine knowledge test and/or PWC endorsement test, you can get a free copy of the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook from the Maritime Safety Victoria website (External link).

You will need to bring along to your appointment:

  1. your original evidence of identity documents
  2. a completed licence or learner permit application form [PDF 829 Kb].

When you have completed the marine knowledge test and/or PWC endorsement test, you will receive your results straight away. You will then need to pay for your marine licence. Refer to marine licence fees for information about marine licence fees.

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