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MVC (DMV) The Law on Getting Your Boating License

New Jersey has a unique law that requires some boaters to hold a non-title boat license in addition to the New Jersey Boat Safety certificate.

No matter where you Operate your powerboat in New Jersey, you will always be required to carry a boat safety certificate! (Your temporary pink certificate) No exceptions!

If you boat exclusively in the bays or out in the ocean you will never be required to have a non-title boat license because you are boating exclusively in waters that are affected by the tide, therefore, you do not need a non-title boat license.

On the other hand, for example, if you were to take your Personal watercraft on Lake Hopatcong in North Jersey and you are a New Jersey resident, in addition to your boat safety certificate you would be required to carry a non-title boat license endorsement on your New Jersey driver’s license.

In order to receive a non-title license endorsement, you would be required to take your Temporary (original pink copy) or your permanent white plastic boat safety certificate and your New Jersey driver’s license to the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles, and make the appropriate payment.

The Division of Motor Vehicles will process your request and issue a temporary paper driver's license, and you will receive your updated NJ driver's license in the mail with the BOAT endorsement.

Depending on where you live and boat in New Jersey, some motor vehicle locations will accept the temporary certificate towards you getting your boat license. Some MVC locations may not accept your pink copy even though the law (listed next) requires them to accept the original pink copy. Ask to speak to the supervisor if they deny  your request. 

Here’s the law:


Chapter 7

Section 12:7-61 - Operation of power vessels, personal watercraft; boat safety course requirements; violations.

Section 12:7-61: 5-G

g. A person making application to the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for a power vessel operator's license issued pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1995, c.401 (C.12:7-72) who is required pursuant to the provisions of this section to possess a certificate certifying successful completion of a boat safety course shall submit proof of successful completion of the course or the written examination for experienced boaters with the application. The chief administrator shall not issue a power vessel operator's license to such person who fails to submit this proof. A permanent State of New Jersey boating safety certificate or a temporary boating safety certificate issued on a Division of State Police application for boating safety certificate form shall satisfy this requirement. 

New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 12:7-61 (2019) - Operation of power vessels, personal watercraft; boat safety course requirements; violations. :: 2019 New Jersey Revised Statutes :: US Codes and Statutes :: US Law :: Justia



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