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Brianna's Law Adopted August 6, 2019

Cuomo Lieneck Werner Photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo at the signing of Brianna's Law

On August 6, 2019 Governor Cuomo signed Brianna's Law. A comprehensive boater education law requiring all power boaters (including those operating sailing vessels with auxiliary power) to complete a boater safety course.

IS THIS A BOATING LICENSE REQUIREMENT? Technically, no. However, New York State requires certain boat operators to have a boating safety certificate. There are licenses for operating a boat on a professional level such at sightseeing or charter fishing or even commercial work boats such as tug and ferries.There's no such thing as a "license" being required to operate a boat for recreational purposes in the State of New York. There IS a requirement for a Boating Safety Certificate/Certification and this is what Brianna's Law is all about. Keep in mind that many people commonly refer to a Boating Safety Certificate as a Boating License, especially since you can now have a boating safety certificate endorsement placed on your drivers license (see bottom).

From Governor Cuomo's Website:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S.5685/A.4853.A) - or Brianna's Law - to phase in requirements that all operators of motorized watercraft must complete a state-approved boating safety course. Brianna's Law is named after Brianna Lieneck, an 11-year-old Long Island girl who was killed in a 2005 boating accident. The Governor also directed State Parks to launch a boating safety promotional campaign to remind boaters of the new requirement to take a safety course.

"Boating has become much more popular and our rules and our laws really have not kept pace with it," Governor Cuomo said. "There should be a basic level of knowledge that you have before you're given the permission to go out there and operate a boat, and making a safety course mandatory is common sense. It protects the operator of the boat and everyone that operator could come into contact with, and it will make our waters safer. It took a horrific accident to make this situation real for people, but through this law Brianna is saving lives and her love lives on."

Jetski/PWC Operators: Current requirements are that all PWC/Jetski Operators MUST be certified regardless of age.

Brianna's Law enhances the current requirements as follows;

Applies to all powerboat operators:

~Those born on or after 1/1/1993 currently need a safety certificate

~Those born on or after 1/1/1988 need a safety certificate beginning January 2022.

~Those born on or after 1/1/1983 need a safety certificate beginning January 2023.

~Those born on or after 1/1/1978 need a safety certificate beginning January 2024.

~All powerboat operators regardless of age will need a boating safety certificate beginning in January 2025.

If you've taken an 8hr boating safety course in the past, you're all set. All NYS courses offered and listed at the link below are NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation courses and enable the student to have an anchor endorsement on their NYS Drivers License in addition to receiving a boater safety certificate.

NYS Drivers License Anchor briannaslaw.com
For class dates, locations and to register online click here

How to get the anchor put on your NYS Drivers License:

  • For those taking an upcoming course at the link above; If you are 18 or older, you will receive a form at class which is mailed in after class. A new NYS Drivers License is mailed to you with the anchor on it.

  • For those that already have a safety certificate (and those under 18): YOU CANNOT get the anchor put on your license by mail. You'll need to bring your certificate to a NYS DMV and have it added to your license in person.

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For class dates, locations and to register online click here

This website exists to promote boating safety courses throughout New York State and is not connected to or endorsed by the Lieneck family

Capt. Richard Werner of Safe Boating America contributed greatly to the passage of Brianna's Law. Read more here: