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Certification Requirements


A Safe Boating Certificate (SBC) will allow an individual to operate any recreational vessel registered in Connecticut except a personal watercraft (“Jet Ski” type vessel) on Connecticut’s waters. A Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation (CPWO) will allow an individual to operate any recreational vessel including a personal watercraft (“Jet Ski” type vessel).

Any person required to have a Safe Boating Certificate or a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation must have their certificate on board at all times while operating the vessel.

Certification Requirements

In order to obtain a Safe Boating Certificate, an individual must successfully complete an approved basic boating course.

Applicants for a Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation must successfully complete a combination Safe Boating and Personal Watercraft course or receive a passing grade on an equivalency exam administered by the DEEP.

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 (PDF)

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 such certificate as evidence to satisfy the educational requirements for issuance of a Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate or Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation.

Content last updated March 19, 2012.