Your health - boat or PWC licence

Learn about eyesight tests, medical requirements and licence conditions for a boat or PWC licence in NSW.

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Health standards

To get and keep a general boat or PWC licence in NSW, you need to meet certain medical standards.

You must let Transport for NSW know if you:

  • need to wear glasses or contact lenses
  • have a medical condition
  • have a disability.

Do this:

  • when you first apply for a licence
  • whenever your health condition changes and it could affect your ability to safely drive a vessel.

Eyesight check

To get and keep a NSW general boat or PWC driving licence, you need to see well enough to safely navigate:

  • any vessel at a speed of 10 knots or more
  • a personal watercraft (PWC) at any speed.

You need to provide proof of your eyesight ability when you're first applying for a licence.

Do this by either:

  1. Doing an eyesight test at a service centre, or
  2. Providing one of the following when you submit your licence application:
    • Current Australian driver or rider licence. If you have the condition ‘Must Wear Spectacles or Contact Lenses while Driving’ (S) on this, it will also apply to your boat driving licence (see Conditions on a licence below).
    • Eyesight report from a qualified person - general practitioner, ophthalmologist or optometrist.
    • Certificate of Competency issued or revalidated by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) within the last five years.

What if you don't pass the eyesight test?

You can still do a licence knowledge test. But you can't get a licence until you have proof you meet the required eyesight standards.

You may be able to get a licence with a condition added (see below).

Conditions on a licence

Licence conditions are legal requirements attached to your licence. You must follow these when driving a vessel.

Conditions might include:  

  • medical advice such as 'wear glasses or contact lenses when driving'
  • driving restrictions such as 'drive only during daylight hours'
  • a requirement that you see a health specialist for a medical assessment for regular review.

You may already have conditions on your vehicle licence that can be added to your boat or PWC licence.

These are usually printed on the back of your licence.

If your health changes

If your health changes, and this could impact on driving ability, inform a service centre as soon as possible.

You may be asked to provide a doctor's report.

You may be asked to complete a Change of Records – Maritime Products Only (PDF, 904.92 KB) so your licence can be reprinted with conditions added.

If you'd like to remove a condition based on medical advice, see Changing medical conditions on a licence.

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