New York Regulatory Guide

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation’s Marine Services Bureau takes a leading role in shaping and enforcing boating laws across the state. Responsible for managing recreational resources, the division formulates regulations covering vessel registration, operator licensing, safety equipment, and navigation rules. On this page, we navigate you through everything you need to have in place in order to ensure that your boat rental business is compliant with New York's regulations, along with some other important things to keep in mind.

Boxes you need to tick

These are requirements as defined by law:

Age Requirement

No person under the age of 18 shall rent a motorboat without first completing a boating safety course.

License Requirement

All operators, regardless of age, will need a boating safety certificate by January 1, 2025.

Anyone operating a Personal Watercraft must have a boating safety certificate, and be at least 14 years of age or older. In 2024: If you are operating any other type of motorized boat, you will need a safety certificate if you were born January 1, 1978 or later. Starting in 2025, all operators of motorized vessels, regardless of age, will be required to have a safety certificate.

Safety Checklist

If renting to a person who does not have a boating safety certificate...

If renting to a person who does not have a boating safety certificate, the livery operator or its designated agent shall explain to the renter how to operate the vessel, the location of safety equipment, and how to use the safety equipment.

Record Requirement

The livery operator or the livery operator's designated agent, at the time of the leasing, hiring, or renting, records the name, address, and age of the operator.

The livery operator or the livery operator's designated agent, atthe time of the leasing, hiring, or renting, records the name, address, and age of the operator of the leased, hired or rented vessel. Such records shall be maintained for a period of not less than one year.

Registration Requirement

Boat registration is required by New York state law for all mechanically propelled boats.

Boat Registrations are required by state law for all mechanically propelled boats, including small boats, canoes and kayaks with any type or size motor. All boat registrations are handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Keep in mind when renting out boats



Not required

Video Documentation
Livery Definition
List of Passengers

The information provided is intended to be general and informative, and should not be interpreted as regulatory, legal, or insurance advice. It does not constitute professional advice from a licensed insurance agent and does not establish an attorney-client or insurer-insured relationship. This information should not replace the counsel of a qualified legal, regulatory, or insurance professional. Always consult with a qualified professional for legal, regulatory, or insurance advice pertaining to your specific circumstances.

Boat Rental Accident Reporting

If you are involved in a boating accident, you are required to report it to New York State Parks if the accident resulted in:

  • An injury that required medical care beyond basic first aid
  • Death or disappearance of a person
  • Damage to any one party exceeding $1,000

Mail to OPRHP, Marine Services, Albany, NY 12238; fax to 518-408-1030; or E-Mail to BOATING@PARKS.NY.GOV

Report Accident

Federal Regulation

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) regularly provides updates on recentchanges in regulation and have overviews of specific requirements for boatrental companies

Buoy is your one-stop shop for compliance & insurance

Buoy provides boat rental companies with peace of mind while saving time and money. When using Buoy’s insurance solution, we will help you get fully compliant free of charge.

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