Owning a boat and maneuvering it through bodies of water is very similar to driving a car. You’ll be required to adhere to certain rules to ensure that you’re not a safety hazard to the people around you. In most cases, you may be required to acquire a license before you can legally drive your boat.  

If you plan on being a boater or simply have a preference for the marine vessel, you need to secure your license within the location where you plan on driving. You’ll be required to get a certification or take an exam before you’re allowed to take your vehicle wherever you want.  

The requirements for a boating license are similar to the qualifications for a regular driving license. You need to be, at least, 16 years old and have no pre-existing conditions that may affect your ability to maneuver a boat. Other things that may be required of you will depend on where you want to acquire your permit. Different places may impose additional qualifications you’d need to meet before receiving your authorization to command a boat. For example, there’s a Canada boaters exam for anyone who wants to cruise through the waters there. If you really want to be an official boat driver, you should note these and prepare for your test to achieve favourable results.  

Safety Course For Boat Drivers  

As it’s a little more challenging to sail through the water than driving on land, you must know how to steer a boat to ensure your safety. When you apply for a license, you’d be required to understand the vehicle’s parts and how they function. You also need to know how to operate different vessels through different waters and be aware of the policies imposed in other areas.  

When you attend boating classes, you should expect to learn about the basics of boat driving. You’ll also learn about safety measures like first aid training as it’s essential to be equipped with knowledge if something terrible happens when you’re at sea.  

Some people take boating safety courses as a hobby, while others do it as the first step towards their careers. There’s a good market for boating professionals, especially in places where the boating industry thrives. So, if you plan on working in the field as a boat captain or yacht broker, you should consider taking boating courses and getting your license.  

Where Can You Get Your License? 

There are many institutions where you can get your boater’s permit. You can try asking your local marina or your local government where you can apply for a license. Some boating schools may also have affiliations that can make it easier for you to pass the qualifications.  

You can take programs that can automatically provide you with approval as long as you finish the course and pass the exam. You can choose this option if you’re in a hurry or don’t want to go through too many processes.  

How Long Does Your License Last?  

The validity of your license is anywhere from 12 months to 3 years, depending on where you got it. Once you receive it, you’ll know how long you can hold on to it before you’d be required to renew. 

You may also need to update your permit if you want to update which vehicles you can command. Driving bigger boats would mean that you’d need to have more expertise, thus requiring you to take additional classes and pass a higher qualification.  

Once your license expires, you can opt to apply for a renewal or not. Just be prepared to pay for exam or renewal fees as most places may require you to settle some bills.  

What Can You Do After Acquiring A License?  

You can take your boat out to the open waters as soon as you get your license. You’ll be allowed to take your vehicle anywhere within the borders of your location. However, you’ll need to heed some common policies, such as not going out during high sea levels or parking your boat in designated areas. Your local marina imposes these rules to ensure that you’re safe and that you won’t be a liability to other boaters. 

Final Thoughts  

If you want to take your boating hobby to the next level, the best thing you can do is apply for a boating license. A formal identification card that shows your qualifications as a boater will make it easier for you to take your vehicle out for a drive and enjoy the open waters without getting policed. It’ll also ensure that you know what you’re doing and that you’d know what to do in case you encounter mishaps when you’re out for a cruise.