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Boat Licensing

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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release: February 14, 2002
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

All Operators of Personal Watercraft, Regardless of Age, Must Also Take Course

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management reminds boaters that those born after January 1, 1986 who operate a boat with a motor greater than 10 horsepower must complete a boating safety course approved by DEM. Also, regardless of age, all operators of personal watercraft must show proof that they have completed a safe boating course. Legislation mandating boater safety training was passed last year and took effect on January 1.

More than 40,000 boats are registered in Rhode Island, and another 30,000 or so visit the state, according to Michael Scanlon, DEM boating safety coordinator. "All boaters have the duty to be responsible, for themselves and for others," Scanlon said. "During the spring, while you are getting your boat ready for the water, take the opportunity to get yourself ready as well.

"Education is a good idea for all - and a new requirement for many," Scanlon added.

Boating safety courses are available from many sources, such as the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), which has three courses beginning in March; the Coast Guard Auxiliary; the US Power Squadrons and BoatUS, which offers an online course. Also, home study courses are expected to be available through DEM's Division of Enforcement by the end of February.

After completing an approved boating course, boaters are issued a certificate of completion. For those subject to the new mandatory boater education law, the certificate must be carried while operating a boat in state waters.

Those operating a boat under training and directly supervised by someone over 18 years of age are not required to have a certificate, nor are those who hold a valid commercial vessel operator's license issued by the Coast Guard. Non-residents temporarily using Rhode Island waters who have met the boating requirements of their own states do not need a Rhode Island certificate; new residents of the state have 60 days to meet the requirements.

Boating safety courses offered by CCRI this spring begin in Lincoln on March 4 and in Warwick on March 6 and 16; each meet for seven sessions and cost $10. For registration and course schedules, call CCRI at 333-7070. Websites that list courses available in Rhode Island are: the US Power Squadron at, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary at, and BoatUS at

Those who take the online or home study course must then pass a proctored exam at CCRI in order to receive a certificate of completion. Those dates have not yet been determined, but will be available from DEM's Division of Enforcement at 222-2284 when scheduled.


For General Information 222-6800 • After Hours Emergencies 222-3070 • Disclaimer