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Motorboat Licensing Frequently Asked Questions Banner

Frequently Asked Questions

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    Q. What are the Corps requirements to be a motorboat operator?
    A. All motorboat operators of vessels less than 26 feet in length shall complete and document the following training:

    • Employees shall complete a USACE-approved 24-hour initial boating safety course and refresher as prescribed in ER 385-1-91.
    • A boating safety course meeting the criteria of the USCG Auxiliary, National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), or equivalent;
    • Motorboat handling training, based on the type of boats they will operate, provided by qualified instructors (in-house or other). Operators must pass a written and operational test;
    • USACE employees who are licensed by the USCG and are operating boats subject to USCG restrictions will still be required to receive USACE certification in the 24-hour Motorboat Operator Course to receive the USACE boat operator license for vessels less than 26 feet in length.

    Q. What are the Corps requirements to be a motorboat operator license instructor?
    A. Motorboat operator license examiners must attend and graduate from the HQUSACE-approved Motorboat License Examiner Training course in addition to the requirements listed above. The course offered by PROSPECT and the course is #172. To qualify to attend this course employees must:

    • Be currently licensed as a USACE motorboat operator
    • Have been designated to train local motor boat operators in boating skills
    • Are experienced motorboat operators
    • Able to swim in a personal flotation device (PFD) for 100 yards

    Q. Do our licenses expire?
    A. Yes they do. All licensed operators must attend an 8 hour refresher certification course every 5 years to maintain certification.

    Q. Do instructors certifications expire?
    A. To maintain certification as a motorboat instructor, USACE employees must participate as an instructor in at least one 24 hour motorboat training course or 8 hour refresher course every three years. If an instructor fails to meet this requirement, their certification shall be revoked and shall not be reinstated until such time as the employee attends a HQUSACE approved 40-hour Motorboat License Examiner Training course.

    Q. What about licensing for boats 26 feet in length or longer?
    A. Corps of Engineers employees operating boats/vessels subject to U.S. Coast Guard restrictions will be licensed in accordance with that agency's requirements. Corps of Engineers boats/vessels in that category will meet the inspection and certification requirements of ER 1130-2-500.

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