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Boat and personal watercraft licences

You must have a marine licence to operate a boat  that has an engine power greater than 4.5kW. You don't need to carry  your licence with you on the water, but you must have proof of identity with  you. You can verify your licence online.

In Queensland, a boat (also known as a Queensland regulated ship)  must only be used for recreational  activities, or for school, surf lifesaving or community activities—not for business, trade or commerce. To operate a personal watercraft, you must have a recreational marine licence and a personal watercraft licence.

If you have a supervisor with a valid marine licence on  board, you can operate a  boat or personal watercraft without a  licence. The licensed supervisor must be able to take immediate control in case  of trouble.

You can only operate a boat or personal watercraft that is  towing a person—for example, someone water skiing or riding a tube—if you have  a valid marine licence.

Certain rules apply if you want to drive a hire boat—contact  your local Maritime  Safety Queensland office to find out more.

How to get a marine licence

Once you have your Queensland marine licence, you don't need  to renew it—it is valid for life.

To get a Queensland marine licence, you must:

When you enrol in a BoatSafe course, you must complete a medical  fitness disclosure statement (PDF, 50KB) and give it to the BoatSafe  training provider. If you are concerned about your medical fitness, tell your BoatSafe  training provider who can give you information about processing marine  licences with medical conditions.

Once you successfully complete your BoatSafe course, the  training provider will give you a statement of competency. You will need this  as part of your application for a Queensland marine licence. Your  statement of competency for completing the BoatSafe course is only valid for 6  months from the date of issue.

Apply for a marine licence

You can apply for your marine licence at your nearest transport  and motoring customer service centre or QGAP  office that provides marine licensing services—please call  to confirm before visiting.

What to bring with you

You will need to:

Confirmation of your marine licence

You will get a printed marine licence indicator receipt showing  you have a recreational marine driver licence and/or personal watercraft  licence.

If you have a valid Queensland driver licence, we will send  you a new licence in the mail with your Queensland marine licence type/s  printed on the back.

If you don't have a valid Queensland driver licence, we will  send you a marine  licence indicator card.

If you have signed up for e-reminders we will email you when your licence is posted.

How to verify your  marine licence

Verify your marine licence

If you do not have proof of your marine licence, you can apply  online for a marine licence verification or for a replacement licence in  person at your nearest transport  and motoring customer service centre or QGAP  office. Please call to confirm they provide marine licensing services  before visiting.

You will need to pay a fee for the online verification  service and replacement licence.

Interstate marine licences

You can use a valid recreational marine licence issued by  another Australian state or territory in Queensland if all of the following apply:

  • you are at least 16 years old
  • your marine licence is current
  • you operate within the conditions on your  interstate marine licence.

If your interstate marine licence has expired, you need to:

  • renew your licence with the issuing state

You can convert your valid interstate marine licence to a Queensland  marine licence at a transport  and motoring customer service centre or QGAP office that provides marine licensing services—please call  to confirm before visiting.

To do this, you will need to:

You will get confirmation of your marine licence.

Overseas marine licences for visitors

When you visit Queensland from another country, you may be  able to use your overseas marine licence if it is a  current recognised overseas licence (PDF, 130KB).

If your recognised overseas marine licence is not in  English, you will need a translation from an accredited National Accreditation Authority for  Translators and Interpreters translator and must keep this with your licence.

If your overseas marine licence is not recognised, you will  need to contact an approved BoatSafe  training provider to assess recognition of prior learning and then apply for your marine licence.

Moving to Queensland from overseas

If you are planning to become an Australian resident or citizen,  or are an Australian citizen returning to Queensland from living overseas, you must  get a Queensland marine licence within  3 months of:

  • arriving in Australia or Australian waters
  • OR getting a resident visa.

If you have a current  recognised overseas marine licence (PDF, 618KB), you can convert this into  a Queensland marine licence at a transport  and motoring customer service centre or QGAP  office that provides marine licensing services, after obtaining a Statement of Competency from an approved  BoatSafe provider (via course completion or RPL)—please call  to confirm before visiting.

To do this, you will need to:

You will get confirmation of your marine licence.