Take 10 Minutes to Get Started With Your Marine Licence in 2023

Not sure where to start with your marine licence? Get started today by using this article! Find out how much it costs to get licenced and what you need to apply, including the best way to get passport-style photos for your application. Keep reading to get started with your marine licence right now! Let’s go!

Who Can Apply for a Marine Licence?

If you want to be able to drive your own boat in Australia, you’ll need to get a marine licence (general boat licence). Not only is there a practical side to achieving this licence, but there are also various documents and criteria that you need to meet.

Let’s take a look at the criteria for being able to apply for a marine licence.

Who Can Apply for a Marine Licence

  • You must be age 12 or over, however, there are restrictions that apply to those under age 16.
  • You want to drive a personal watercraft (PWC)
  • You want to drive your PWC at 10 knots or higher speeds

How to Apply for a Marine Licence?

Now you know whether you need a marine licence, if you want to apply for one, you’ll have to complete a few steps before you’re ready to drive a boat after being licenced. Check out below how to apply for a marine licence (general boat licence).

How to Apply for a Marine Licence

  1. Get practical experience in boating with an Authorised Training Provider or experienced skipper.
    1. You need to have practical experience in using safety equipment as well as driving a boat.
  2. Complete a licence knowledge test including:
    1. Answering 50 multiple-choice questions
    1. Get 24/30 correct in section A
    1. Get 20/20 correct in section B
  3. You will have to book and attend an appointment for your test.
  4. Use this website to do so: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-for-a-general-boat-driving-licence 

What are the Supporting Documents for a Marine Licence?

There are a number of documents that you will have to provide to successfully complete your application for a marine licence. Here’s a list below. You can find the full information by going to your government marine licence issuer’s website.

Supporting Documents for a Marine Licence

  • Identity Documents (use this website to find out which)
  • Sight test or test results
  • Medical records that show any evidence of a condition that could affect your driving
  • Practical boating experience evidence
  • Authorised Training Provider qualifications (if you chose this route of practical experience)
  • Payment of test fee
  • Payment of licencing fee
  • Two passport-style photos for a PWC licence
  • Completed PWC licence form
  • Completed General Boat Driving Licence application (can be completed at a service centre)

What is the Cost of a Marine Licence?

As with most licences, you are required to pay various fees to be fully licenced for driving boats and PWCs. There are different validity lengths for marine licences, with the longer length licences costing more and the shorter ones costing less.

Licence CategoryBoatPWC
1 Year Licence (age 16+)$65 AUD$197 AUD
1 Year Under-16s or concession licence$33 AUD$99 AUD
3 Year Licence (age 16+)$174 AUD$431 AUD
3 Year Under-16s or concession licence$87 AUD$216 AUD
5 Year Licence (age 16+)$273 AUD$674 AUD
5 Year Under-16s or concession licence$137 AUD$337 AUD
10 Year Licence (age 16+)$488 AUD$977 AUD
10 Year Under-16s or concession licence$244 AUD$489 AUD

If you want to find out more information about the costs of a marine licence, use this website.

What is the Processing Time of a Marine Licence?

Depending on the time of year and how many applications are being received, the length of the time for marine licence processing can vary. However, you can expect your marine licence to take around 6 weeks or longer to be processed. It will then take a little longer for you to receive it in the post. So make sure you apply for your licence in good time before you make any plans to go boating or drive a PWC.

What is the Validity of a Marine Licence?

The validity of your marine licence will depend on which year length of licence you purchase when you apply. If you only pay for 1 year’s validity, that’s what you will receive, and so on, up to the maximum of 10 years of licence validity.

Where to Get a Correct Marine Licence Photo Cheap & Quick?

If you don’t know already, you’ll need two passport-style photos to submit with your marine licence application. Not all photo services, such as photo booths, can provide the reliable quality that is necessary for licence applications.

Did you know you can get professional-quality passport photos from the comfort of your home, without any expensive equipment? Just download Smartphone iD on your Android or iOS smartphone to get started today!

Our cheap and quick photo app can deliver the quality product you need straight to your email or door! We verify every photo with AI and biometrics experts so you can be sure your photo is 100% acceptable to the government. If for some reason it’s not? We’ll send you a full refund!


Want to get out on the water as quickly as possible? Speed up your marine licence application by using Smartphone iD for your passport-style photos. Not only this, but you can avoid the costs of having to retake your photos with our government approval guarantee. You no longer have to take tiresome trips into town to get passport photos!

Have you got a smartphone? Start using Smartphone iD today!

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