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Applying through Service SA is probably the most straightforward and quickest way of getting your boat licence in South Australia.
If you’re not sure of the best way to get your licence, read this summary post first of all the different ways available.
Booking & Application form
Simply call Service SA on 13 10 84 to book to sit the theory exam at your local centre, taking along evidence of age and identity and a completed application for a boat operator’s licence. You can do this after sitting the exam, but will save time if you fill in page 1 before you go.
The application form has a clause on it stating ‘If you hold a current motor vehicle driver’s licence or learner’s permit and your medical condition has not changed since the issue of that licence or permit, you do not need to answer the medical questions below subject to presentation of your motor vehicle driver’s licence when submitting this application.’
If this is not the case and your medical condition has changed, you will also need to complete a Medical and Eyesight Certificate to Operate a Recreational Vessel.
It is strongly suggested that you are familiar with the SA Recreational Boating Safety Handbook, which is available here or a free hard copy can be picked up from a Service SA office or Boat Shows. The exam is based on this theory. Even if you have been boating for years, it’s a good idea to refresh on the rules and regulations.
You can also do a practice test on the OnDeck website to see how you are getting on.
Complete the test
With your test appointment booked, turn up and complete under test conditions at the Service SA centre. Once passed (hopefully!), you can hand over the completed application form with the licence fee and be presented straight away with a licence on a shiny piece of paper with a sunset background… I don’t think this has been changed since the 80’s!
And that’s it. As long as you met all the requirements, you will be issued with a valid licence to drive a recreational boat in South Australia and other states, usually up to a period of 90 days.
Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!