Amendments to Brianna's Law requires all powerboat operators to take a safety course.

New NYS legislation to Brianna's Law requires all operators of motorized watercraft to complete a state-approved boating safety course. Also, State Parks will launch a boating safety promotional campaign to remind boaters of the new requirement to take a safety course.

The Law is named after Brianna Lieneck, an 11-year-old Long Island girl who was killed in a 2005 boating accident.

"Boating has become much more popular and our rules and our laws really have not kept pace with it...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."


This new legislation expands on an earlier law requiring boaters born after May 1, 1996, to complete a safety course before operating a motorized watercraft.

Phase-In schedule:

  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1993 must complete a safety course to operate a motorboat beginning in 2020.
  • Born after Jan. 1, 1988 must complete a safety course beginning in 2022.
  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1983 must complete a safety course beginning in 2023.
  • Born on or after Jan. 1, 1978 must complete a safety course beginning in 2024.

The requirement extends to all motorboat operators beginning in 2025, regardless of age. Failure to comply could result in a fine of between $100 and $250 under the new law that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

It's estimated that one million boaters will have to take the safety courses before the end of the phase-in on Jan. 1, 2025.

The law does not apply to operators of sailboats, kayaks, standup paddleboards, rowboats or canoes.

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