NSW Boat Licence Course Vs Victorian Boat Licence Course
I am regularly asked whether a NSW resident can get a Victorian boat licence. Why? Because a Victorian boat licence costs less then a NSW boat licence. The simple answer is yes you can BUT what Vic Roads and other Victorian course providers won't tell you is that if you live in NSW then you should have a NSW licence and if you live in Victoria you should have a Vic boat licence. Basically it is the same as your car drivers licence. The Victorian course providers want your business, even if it means placing you at risk of receiving some nasty fines out there on the water.
If you are a NSW resident, holding a Vic boat licence, operating on NSW waters and happen to be checked by a NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officer (BSO) who knows their stuff, you can and more than likely will be issued with a $250 penalty notice for being unlicensed. The Vic boat licence will be OK to use on Victorian Waters but it is not valid on NSW waters (if you are a NSW resident).
Here are the actual NSW Marine Safety (General) Regulations 2009 in relation to NSW boat drivers licensing.
76 Certain vessels and persons exempt from requirements relating to boat driving licences
(1) A vessel is exempt from section 63 of the Act if the vessel:(a) is not a personal watercraft, and(b) is not being operated at a speed of 10 knots or more.(2) A person is exempt from section 63 of the Act if the person:(a) is not ordinarily resident in this State, and(b) has been operating power-driven recreational vessels in State waters for less than 3 months, and(c) is licensed under the law of another country to operate a vessel of the type concerned and is operating the vessel in accordance with the conditions of that licence to the extent that those conditions are capable of applying in this State.(3) Subclause (2) does not exempt a person from section 63 of the Act if:(a) the person holds a boat driving licence that is suspended, or(b) the person has held a boat driving licence that has been cancelled and the person is disqualified from applying for another such licence.
So breaking that legal mumbo jumbo down -
76(1) means you need a boat licence in NSW if you are driving a PWC at any speed or driving a boat over the speed of 10kts.
76(2)(a) means if you reside in NSW you must have a NSW boat licence.
76(2)(b) means that if you are visiting from another State and have been in NSW for longer than 3 months, you need to have a NSW boat licence.
76(2)(c) means if you have a boat licence issued in another country and (a) and (b) above don't apply to you, i.e. you don't live in NSW and haven't been in NSW for more than 3 months then you can use your boat licence that is issued from another country that is equivalent to the NSW boat licence.
So once again in a nutshell. If you live in NSW and want to get a boat licence, you need to get a NSW boat licence which can be used anywhere in Australia. If you live in Victoria and want to get a boat licence, you need to get a Victorian boat licence which can also be used anywhere in Australia. If you live in NSW and hold or decide to get a Victorian boat licence then you can only use that Victorian licence on Victorian waters. Bear in mind that Lake Hume above the Bethanga Road Bridge is NSW waters as far as navigation is concerned. The Murray River, including Lake Mulwala and the Ovens River up to the Perolas Road Bridge are NSW waters as far as navigation is concerned.
This is just another small example of why you should choose Border Boat Licence over other course providers. Check out their boating background and expertise before you spend your money. I have 24 years boating experience. For 13 of those years I performed on water compliance duties. I was a NSW Water Police Officer (4 years) and a NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officer (9 years/7 years based in Albury). My mission is to teach you how to stay safe on the water, enjoy boating and how best to avoid receiving fines out on the water.