Proving your identity - Maritime


You need to show proof of your identity to get boating and maritime products such as a boat licence or vessel registration from Transport for NSW. Here's how.

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What documents do I need?

Get your proof of identity documents ready in advance.

The documents must:

For information on how Transport for NSW manages your personal information please see our Privacy statement.

You can also download our Proof of identity fact sheet (PDF, 385.76 KB).

Proof for individuals

For proof of identity, individuals age 16 and above need:

  • one document from the 'One document only' list (meaning no other document is needed), or
  • two documents - one from the primary and one from the secondary list.

If you're below age 16, or a company/organisation see sections below.

One document only

These are acceptable full proof of identity documents (meaning no other document is needed to prove your identity).

  • NSW Photo Driver Licence (card or digital) that's current or has expired within the last 2 years.
  • NSW Photo Card issued by Transport for NSW, that's current or expired within the last 2 years.
  • NSW Personal watercraft (PWC) Photo Card Licence that's current or  expired within the last 2 years.
  • Certificate of Competency issued by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) or Transport for NSW. It must have your photo, and be current or expired within the last 2 years.

One primary and one secondary

If you don't have an item from the previous list, choose from the following lists:

  • 1 primary document and
  • 1 secondary document.
Primary – choose 1
  • Australian full birth certificate or Integrated birth certificate (historic certificates issued in 1987 and 1988 are accepted).
  • Australian passport that's current or expired within the last 2 years.
  • Travel identity documents issued by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Current overseas passport.
  • Transport for NSW issued NSW Photo Driver's Licence (plastic card or digital), NSW Photo card, PWC Photo Card Licence that expired more than 2 years ago.
  • Certificate of Competency (with your photo) issued by AMSA or Transport for NSW, that expired more than 2 years ago.
  • Photo driver's licence issued by another Australian State or Territory that's current or expired within the last 2 years.
  • Boat licence issued by another Australian State or Territory that's current and has your photo.
  • Transport for NSW issued NSW Photo Firearm, Security Industry or Commercial Agents and Private Agents Operator Licence that's current or expired within the last two years.
  • NSW Police Force or Australian Defence Force Photo Identity Card that is current.
  • Consular photo identity card that's current and issued by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Australian naturalisation or citizenship document or immigration papers issued by the Australian Government.
  • Overseas birth certificate showing parental details, provided a passport or official Australian travel document is also shown.
  • Certificate of Aboriginality issued by an Indigenous organisation (e.g. Local Aboriginal Land Council).
  • Current Certificate of Competency with your photo, issued by another Australian State or Territory.
Secondary – choose 1
  • Transport for NSW issued General Boat Licence that's current or expired within the last 2 years.
  • Current Medicare card, Pensioner Concession card, Department of Veteran's Affairs Entitlement card, or any other current entitlement card issued by the Commonwealth Government.
  • Current credit card that shows your name and signature or account card from a bank, building society or credit union, or a passbook or account statement that is current or expired within the last year.
  • Telephone, gas or electricity bill not more than 1 year old.
  • Water rates, council rates or land valuation notice not more than 2 years old.
  • Electoral enrolment card or other evidence of enrolment not more than 2 years old.
  • Armed services discharge document not more than 2 years old.
  • Student identity card or a certificate or statement of enrolment from an educational institution that's current or no more than 2 years old .
  • Current Mobility Parking Scheme (MPS) card with or without a photo.

If someone is acting on your behalf

Have you authorised another person to submit your transaction? Then that person needs to show their own proof of identity, as well as your proof of identity.

If you're under 16

If you're below age 16, you need written consent from a parent or legal guardian to apply for a boat licence.

You need to provide your proof of identity and proof of identity for a parent or legal guardian.

To show your proof of identity choose either:  

Also see Who can witness and verify your documents.

Proof for companies and organisations

To show proof of identity as a company or organisation, you need to show proof of legal status. (See Organisations with other requirements for exceptions, such as government or rescue organisations).

To show proof of legal status, you need an original or certified copy of the following:

  • For associated Incorporations – a current Certificate of Incorporation issued by NSW Fair Trading or its interstate equivalent or ASIC extract.
  • Companies – a current Certificate of Company Registration or other evidence (e.g. ASIC extract) and an ACN (Australian Company Number).
  • Foreign companies - a Certificate of Registration of a Foreign Company with an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN).
  • Sole traders, trusts and partnerships with a registered business name - a copy of the Certificate of Registration of Business Name issued by NSW Fair Trading or its interstate equivalent or ASIC extract.

Note: sole traders, trusts and partnerships are not legal entities and as such proof of identity for the associated individual must also be supplied.

Organisations with other requirements

The organisations in the list below don't need to show proof of identity but they do need to provide:

  • a letter written on the company's/organisation's letterhead.
  • the name of the Act under which they are incorporated, or evidence of the company's/organisation's legal status.
  • for officers acting for government agencies or educational institutions, a document showing evidence of delegation or authority may also be required.

These are the companies/organisations:

  • government agencies or departments
  • utility providers
  • credit unions, banks, building societies
  • public hospitals
  • educational institutions
  • park and cemetery trusts
  • county, city, municipal and shire councils
  • volunteer rescue organisations
  • finance or insurance organisations with the word "mutual" in their name
  • any organisation with the word "corporation" in their name.

Who can witness and verify your documents

These people are authorised to witnesses proof of identity documents:

  • any Service NSW officer
  • any authorised Justice of the Peace (appointment number must appear on the document)
  • any NSW Police Officer (rank and station stamp must appear on the document)
  • any Judge, Magistrate, Bank Manager, Legal Practitioner or School Principal
  • Authorised Licence Testing Officers (for licence tests only)
  • Boatcode Agents (for the purpose of affixing/validating a Hull Identification Number)
  • any Transport for NSW accredited Marine Dealer (for initial vessel registration only).

Mailing or submitting documents online

If you can't attend a service centre in person, you can lodge proof of identity documents by mail (or online for Private Moorings), provided the documents:

  • have been witnessed and verified by an acceptable signatory and
  • include these details:
    • document name, number and expiry date or issue date
    • signatory’s name
    • signatory’s title/position
    • provider number/stamp (whichever is applicable)
    • signatory’s signature
    • date.
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