Boat and PWC licence knowledge tests
You’ll need to pass a paper-based knowledge test before you can apply for a general boat or personal watercraft (PWC) driving licence.
Booking your boat licence knowledge test
Once you’re ready, you can book a licence knowledge test at any service centre.
You can also sit for the boat licence knowledge test with a Authorised Training Provider (in two locations) as part of their practical boating experience course.
Applying for your licence
General boat and PWC driving licences are issued for 1, 3, 5 or 10 years. They are issued as paper licences, followed by a plastic licence card. Digital boat licences are also available.
If you pass the knowledge test at a Service NSW centre and have your documentation with you, you’ll receive your licence at the end of the test.
If you’ve passed the knowledge test through an RTP, you’ll need to apply for your licence in person at Service NSW centre or by post.
What you’ll need to bring
- proof of identity
- evidence of practical boating experience – a logbook if you have used an experienced skipper, or certification on your licence application form if you have used an RTP
- payment for the test fee and licence fee
- two passport-acceptable photos if you are applying for a PWC licence
Applicants under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. This adult must also provide acceptable proof of their identity.
Applying by post
Send your application, including all documentation listed above to:
Roads and Maritime Services
Agency Business Centre
PO Box 21
Parkes NSW 2870
What is the boat licence knowledge test?
There are two types of boat licence knowledge tests – general boat licence test and PWC licence knowledge test.
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. In the next 30 questions you must answer 24 correctly.
If you fail, you can re-attempt the knowledge test, however a fee applies for each test attempt.
PWC licence knowledge test
If you already hold a general boat driving licence, you can upgrade to a PWC licence by taking the PWC licence knowledge test. This test consists of 15 questions. You must answer at least 12 of these correctly.
How to study for the test
Everything you need to know to pass the boat licence knowledge test is in our handbooks and online study guides:
- Boating Handbook
- General Boat Driving Licence Study Guide
- Personal Watercraft Handbook
- Personal Watercraft (PWC) Driving Licence Study Guide
You can also get a free copy of the handbooks from any service centre.
Boating knowledge practice quiz
Take the free Boating knowledge practice quiz online to help you prepare for your boat licence knowledge test. The questions are taken from the pool of questions in the real test but are only a guide.
At the end of the quiz you’ll be able to review the section of the Boating Handbook that covers any mistakes.