Boat licences

You must hold a current boat operator's licence to operate any type of recreational vessel fitted with an engine, regardless of the size of the boat or its engine, or whether the engine is being used at the time. If you hold a current commercial qualification like a coxswain or master certificate you can operate a recreational vessel fitted with an engine.

Operators of kayaks and canoes fitted with an electric motor of not more than 150 newtons and who are aged 16 or over don't need to hold a boat licence. For other motorboats a licence is not required if you are at least 12 years of age, are under the direct supervision of a person with a boat operator's licence and do not exceed 10 knots.

If you are visiting South Australia and have a current interstate boat licence, you may operate a motorboat in South Australia for up to 90 days. After 90 days you need to apply for a South Australian boat operator's licence.

If requested by an authorised person, you must present your boat operator's licence, permit or commercial certificate within 48 hours.

Digital licence

Access a digital boat licence using the mySA GOV app.

Update licence details

If you have a boat operator's licence, special permit or boat registration you must notify a change of name, address or medical condition within 14 days. An authorised person may require you to produce your boat licence or special permit within a specified period, usually 48 hours.

If you have changed your name, lost or destroyed your licence you will need to replace your licence.

Changing your address

1. Supporting documents

You'll need your SA vehicle licence number or client number. If you don't have one you must use the options below:

  • registration papers
  • full name
  • date of birth
  • previous address.

2. Fill out and lodge the form

Fill out advice of change of name or address (121.2 KB PDF)

Take the form to a Service SA customer service centre or post to:

GPO Box 1533
Adelaide SA 5001

Changing your name

1. Supporting documents

You must provide one of the following:

  • marriage certificate issued by Registrar Births, Deaths and Marriages (commemorative certificates are not acceptable)
  • change of name registration with Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry
  • deed poll certificate (previously issued by Lands Title Office)
  • divorce papers - Decree Nisi or Absolute (indicating the name being reverted to).

2. Complete the form

Fill out Advice of change of name or address (121.2 KB PDF).

3. Lodgement

In person

Take your form and original copies of your supporting documents to a Service SA customer service centre.

Post

GPO Box 1533
Adelaide SA 5001

You may send in copies of evidence of identity documents that have been certified by a Justice of the Peace.

Change to a medical condition

If you hold a boat licence or special permit you must notify a change in your medical condition within 14 days.

You can provide notification of any physical or mental impairment that may affect your ability to operate a boat or other vessel by visiting a Service SA customer service centre or by phone on 13 10 84.

Replace a boat licence

If you have lost or destroyed your licence, or changed your name you will need a replacement licence.

A fee is payable for a replacement boat licence unless the replacement is required because of a change of name.

1. Evidence of identity

Collect the original documents to provide your evidence of identity.

2. Application form

Replacement boat operator's licence or special permit to operate a recreational vessel (529.2 KB PDF)

3. Lodgement

In-person

Take your application and originals of your evidence of identity documents to a Service SA customer service centre with the fee payable.

Payment can be by cheque, Visa or Mastercard.

Post

GPO Box 1533
Adelaide 5001

You may send in copies of evidence of identity documents that have been certified by a Justice of the Peace.

Send the fee by cheque.

Fees

Fees are effective from 1 July 2021.

Theory tests

  • Special permit theory test - $21
  • Boat operator's licence theory test - $47

There is no fee for the practical test to obtain a special permit however, the applicant must provide a suitable boat and safety equipment.

Licences and special permits

  • Licence issued to a person who held special permit - $18
  • Licence issued to a person who did not hold special permit  - $45
  • Special permit issue - $18
  • Replacement licence or special permit - $18

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Page last updated 24 November 2021

Provided by:
Department for Infrastructure and Transport
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/boating-and-marine/boat-operators-licences-and-permits/boat-licence
Last Updated:
24/11/21
Printed on:
03/12/21
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2021
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