Boat licence knowledge test

You’ll need to pass a boat licence knowledge test before you can apply for a general boat or personal watercraft (PWC) driving licence.

What is the boat licence knowledge test?

There are two types of boat licence knowledge test. Which one you take, depends on which type of licence you’re applying for:

  • General boat
  • PWC.

General boat licence knowledge test

The general boat licence knowledge test consists of 50 multiple choice questions. You must answer the first 20 questions correctly. Of the remaining 30 questions, you must answer at least 24 correctly.

You must pass this test to apply for any type of licence, including a PWC driving licence.

If you fail, you can re-attempt the knowledge test, however the fee is payable for each licence knowledge test attempt.

PWC licence knowledge test

The PWC licence knowledge test consists of 15 questions. You must answer at least 12 of these correctly.

You cannot attempt the PWC knowledge test until you have successfully passed the General knowledge test.

Studying for your test

Everything you need to know to pass the boat licence knowledge test is included in the Boating Handbook and Personal Watercraft Handbook, which are available free of charge.

You can access these handbooks online, or pick up a hard copy at any registry or service centre.

Find out more about how to use the Boating Knowledge Quiz to help you practice.

Boating Knowledge Quiz

You can take the free online Boating Knowledge Quiz as practice for your boat licence knowledge test.

The questions in the quiz are taken from the pool of questions used in the actual general boat and PWC licence knowledge tests. However the quiz should be used as a guide only.

In Part A, all 20 questions must be answered correctly.

In Part B, you are allowed six incorrect answers out of 30 questions.

If you get an answer wrong, the correct answer will be shown and you can continue.

At the end of the boating knowledge quiz you’ll have the option to review the section of the Boating Safety Handbook which covers the answers you got wrong.

Taking the boat licence knowledge test

You can sit for a boat licence knowledge test at any registry, service centre or Government Access Centre (GAC).

Taking the test with a Recognised Training Provider

You can sit for a knowledge test with a Recognised Training Provider as part of its practical boating experience course. Contact a provider for information.

Taking the test at a registry or service centre

Bookings are generally required so please call 13 77 88 to book your test before attending a location.

Provided you meet all the necessary requirements, your boat driving licence will be issued as soon as you pass the knowledge test.

You’ll need to provide:

  • Proof of your identity
  • A completed application for a Boat Driving Licence
  • If you’re applying for a PWC driving licence, a completed Application for PWC Driving Licence and two passport-acceptable photos
  • Evidence of practical boating experience. This will be a logbook if you have used an experienced skipper, or certification on your licence application form if you have used a Recognised Training Provider.
  • Payment for the test fee
  • Payment for the licence fee
  • Applicants under 16 years of age must be accompanined by a parent or legal guardian who must provide acceptable proof of identity.

You will be issued with an interim paper licence which allows you to drive a boat or PWC as specified by the type of licence. You will then receive a plastic card boat driving licence in the mail (PWC driving licence cards will include your photo).

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