Boat Licence WA

With swathes of white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, boating in Western Australia isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. Before you head out on the water, learn more about WA boat licence requirements here. 

WA Boat Licence FAQ

Do I need a boat licence in WA?

As of 1 April 2008, every skipper of a registerable recreational vessel powered by a motor greater than 4.5kwp (6 hp) (RST vessel) will be required to hold a Recreational Skipper’s Ticket (RST).

Recreational Skipper’s Ticket

To get a Recreational Skippers Ticket you will need to be assessed by an authorised assessor. Depending on your prior qualifications you may be able to apply for your RST through the Skills Recognition Scheme. If you hold a current interstate licence it is recognised in WA for three months. If you intend to stay longer than three months, you will need to apply for an RST.

How to get a boat licence WA?

The Recreational Skipper’s Ticket Workbook contains everything that you can be assessed from both a theory and a practical perspective. You can collect a free RST Workbook from any Department office, or authorized assessor.

The RST is a certificate of competency, not a licence. It is purely about demonstrating the minimum knowledge and practical skills needed to operate a boat safely on the water. It is based on a set of marine safety competencies that have been agreed nationally. The assessment of these competencies will be in two sections: theory and practical. Depending on your prior qualification you may be exempt from the assessment.

Interstate or overseas licences are valid for three months provided they are listed in the skills recognition section above. After three months, an RST is required if you intend to continue operating a vessel in the State of Western Australia.

Once you acquire a recreational boat licence WA, it is valid for life, and there is no need to renew.

For more information, refer to the Government of Western Australia’s website

What size boat can I drive without a licence in WA?

If you plan on driving and operating a boat with an engine smaller than 4.5kwp (6hp), you will not require a WA boat licence. However, as soon as your vessel crosses that threshold, you will be required to get a Recreational Skipper’s Ticket.

Applying for your boat licence in WA is a requirement for anyone operating a boat with an engine at least 6hp. Once you have successfully completed the requirements, your licence is valid for life so you can head out on the water, confident that your licence (and capabilities) are secure.

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