How to Get a Certificate to Operate a Vessel

Take a Class
Approved boating safety courses are offered throughout the year around the state. Be prepared to provide your instructor/course provider with your Conservation ID number that you obtained from the Online Sportsmen Licensing System, name (as it was entered when registering for a Conservation ID), and birth date.

About a week after successfully completing your course, log back onto the Online Sportsmen Licensing System and follow the instructions to purchase and print your certificate. Currently there is a onetime fee of $50 for a boating certificate.

After signing it, you must carry your official document whenever you operate your vessel.

You can reprint your certificate at any time at home by logging back into the Online Sportsmen Licensing System or by visiting a participating license vendor.

Equivalency Exam

The DEEP Equivalency Examination was designed for the experienced boater who knows the rules and regulations for safe boating on all Connecticut waters.

The examination covers all aspects of a basic boating course including: general information and safety topics, Connecticut State law, trailering, waterways, canoes, motor boats, sail boats, PWC's, row boats, etc. A score of 80% or better is required to pass. A score of 78% or below is a failing score and the examinee would then be required to take an eight (8) hour course that is approved by the State of Connecticut and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

No one textbook covers all areas of the exam, but many of the topics are covered in the Connecticut Boater's Guide.

The examination fee is $75.00. Testing is by appointment only.
Application for Equivalency Exam

Certification Reciprocity

Effective January 3, 2007, any person who possesses a Safe Boating or Personal Watercraft Operation Certificate issued by a state having an agreement of reciprocity with the Commissioner of DEEP, which states currently include Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, may now present their permanent certificate as evidence to satisfy the educational requirements for issuance of a Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation.  Out of state diplomas cannot be accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Boating Certification

Applying for Safe Boating Certificates (SBC), Certificates of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO), Temporary and Duplicate Certificates 

Content last updated February 27, 2024