Moving your boat or PWC licence to NSW

Moving to NSW? How to get a NSW boat or personal watercraft (PWC) licence if you’re an interstate or overseas licence holder.


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Check what you need

If you're an interstate or overseas licence holder, you need a NSW boat or PWC licence to keep using NSW waterways after 3 months.

Check on this page if you can transfer your existing licence, or if you need to apply for a new one.

If you don't already have a boat or PWC licence, see Get boat or PWC licence.

If you're moving from interstate

General boat licences

You can transfer an interstate boat licence to a NSW general boat licence if:

  • your interstate licence is current, or
  • your interstate licence expired less than 5 years ago.

This means you won't have to pass the boating knowledge test or provide evidence of practical boating experience.

See below How to transfer your licence.

Personal watercraft (PWC) licences

You can transfer an interstate PWC licence to a NSW PWC licence if:

  • your PWC licence is from Queensland, Victoria or Tasmania.

You can’t transfer an interstate licence to a NSW PWC licence if:

  • your interstate licence is a general licence letting you operate all types of vessels, including a PWC.

If you hold that type of general licence, to get a NSW PWC licence you must first:

  1. Transfer your existing licence to a NSW general boat driving licence (this is required before you can apply for a NSW PWC licence). See Transferring.
  2. Apply for a PWC licence and pass the PWC knowledge test.

If you have a New Zealand boat licence or certificate

You may be eligible to transfer your New Zealand licence to a NSW licence if you have a current (or expired less than 5 years ago):

  • New Zealand Boatmaster Certificate, or
  • Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Certificate - RYA Level 2 Powerboat Certificate or accredited courses.

See below How to transfer your licence.

If you're moving from overseas

You can’t transfer overseas boating licences and certificates to a NSW licence. The exception is if you are moving from New Zealand (see above).

To continue operating a vessel in NSW waters after 3 months, you must apply for a NSW general boat licence.

To do this, you'll need to:

  • complete a boating safety course with an Authorised Training Provider (covering practical experience and tests required for a licence) or
  • provide evidence of practical experience and pass the licence test(s) separately.

See Get boat or personal watercraft licence for more information.

How to transfer your licence

Check above if you can transfer your licence or if you need to apply for a new NSW licence.

To transfer your existing licence to a NSW equivalent visit a service centre with the following:

If you’re applying for a PWC licence, you’ll also need to complete the Application for a Personal Watercraft (PWC) Driving Licence (PDF, 129.04 KB) and provide 2 passport-acceptable photos.

Get familiar with local rules and waterways

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