Getting your marine licence

*Courtesy of Vic Roads. Click here to see more information.

To operate a registered boat in Victoria, you need a marine licence. To use Personal Watercrafts (PWC) like jet-skis, your marine licence needs a PWC endorsement. You can get a marine and PWC licence by taking a test, or by converting an interstate or overseas licence.

Who can apply? 

You can get a marine licence if you:

  • are at least 12 years old

  • are at least 16 years old to get a Personal Watercraft Endorsement (PWC)

  • Meet basic medical and eyesight tests.

What tests do I need to take? 

You’ll need to book for:

  • An eyesight test

  • A marine licence knowledge test 

  • A Personal Watercraft (PWC) endorsement test (if you want to use a personal watercraft)

About the tests

The marine licence knowledge test has 30 multiple choice questions and you’ll need to get at least 26 questions right to pass.

The PWC endorsement test has 15 multiple choice questions and you’ll need to get at least 13 right to pass. You can only get a PWC endorsement from when you’re 16 years old.

If you do your test at a VicRoads Customer Service Centre, you’ll get results straight away and your marine licence if you’ve passed.

What are the costs?

Go to marine licence and appointment fees to find out more.

What to bring:

How can I prepare?

You can get a free copy of the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook at Maritime Safety Victoria or from a VicRoads Customer Service Centre

To help you prepare and see if you're ready for the test, take the marine licence and PWC endorsement practice tests
(External link)

Where can I take the tests? 

About test results

Your test results are valid for 12 months.

If you haven’t paid within 12 months of passing the test, you’ll need to take the test again.

Can I be exempt from the test?

You won’t need to take the marine knowledge test if you have: 

  • An interstate or overseas marine licence that hasn’t expired more than five years OR 

  • A valid Certificate of Competency* for your marine licence from an accredited training provider in the last 10 years.

* Your certificate doesn’t include PWC endorsements so you’ll still need to take the PWC endorsement test if you want to use a personal watercraft. 

I’ve got my certificate, what do I do?

If you’ve got a valid certificate go to a VicRoads Customer Service Centre with: 

  • Your certificate from the accredited training provider

  • A completed application for a licence or permit form

What’s a restricted marine licence?

A restricted marine licence is for anyone under 16 years old and means you can't:

  • operate a vessel between sunset and sunrise

  • tow a person, another vessel or an object, or

  • operate at a speed of 10 knots or more.

You won’t be able to get a PWC endorsement until you’re 16 years old or over.

Can I apply for a restricted marine licence?

You can apply if you’re between 12 and 16 years old. 

When you’re 16:

  • you’ll get a full marine licence using the same card

  • you won’t have to follow the restrictions 

  • you’ll be able to take the PWC (jet-ski) test if you want.

For Interstate or overseas marine licence holders

Do I need a Victorian marine licence?

You only need one if you’re going to operate a vessel for more than three months. 

You’ll need to book and pay for a licence changeover appointment to convert your interstate or overseas marine licence.

You can’t get a Victorian marine licence if your licence has been suspended, cancelled or disqualified.

What do I need to convert my marine licence?

To convert you need to:

  • have a current marine licence (or expired less than five years ago)

  • have a licence that isn’t suspended, cancelled, or disqualified

  • meet basic medical and eyesight tests

  • provide proof of your interstate/overseas licence 

  • have documents in English or have an English translation.

Any conditions on your interstate or overseas marine licence will be the same on your Victorian one.

*Courtesy of Vic Roads. Click here to see more information.