2012 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 15 - Navigation and Aeronautics
Chapter 268 - Boating
Section 15-140e - Safe boating certificate.


CT Gen Stat § 15-140e (2012) What's This?

(a) No resident of the state, person owning real property in the state or person owning a vessel in the state shall operate on the waters of the state a vessel which is required to be registered or numbered pursuant to this chapter unless such person has a valid vessel operator license issued by the United States Coast Guard or has obtained a safe boating certificate issued by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection. No owner of a vessel shall knowingly authorize or permit a person who is less than sixteen years of age who is required by this section to obtain a safe boating certificate issued by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection to operate such vessel on the waters of the state without a safe boating certificate, unless such person is under the direct onboard supervision of a person who is at least eighteen years of age who has been issued a safe boating certificate and who has held such certificate for at least two years. A safe boating certificate may be suspended or revoked, pursuant to section 15-132a, 15-133, 15-140l or 15-140n, and shall be valid for the life of the person to whom it is issued unless otherwise suspended or revoked.

(b) A safe boating certificate shall be issued under subsection (a) of this section to any applicant regardless of age who provides proof that such applicant has: (1) Successfully completed a course in safe boating operation approved by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, which courses may include those offered by the United States Power Squadrons, Coast Guard Auxiliary or other organizations, or (2) successfully passed an equivalency examination testing knowledge of safe boating operation administered by the commissioner.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, any person who purchases a new or used vessel may, upon vessel registration, apply to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for a temporary safe boating certificate which shall be valid for three months from the date of registration. No person shall be issued more than one temporary safe boating certificate.

(d) Any person operating a vessel other than a personal watercraft, as defined in section 15-140j, which is rented for a period of fourteen days or less from a boat livery need not obtain a certificate during the rental period. An owner, agent or employee of a boat livery shall furnish to each rental customer literature on safety and rules of navigation as supplied by the commissioner.

(e) Any person enrolled in a course in safe boating operation approved by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may operate a vessel without a safe boating certificate when under the direct onboard supervision of a boating instructor holding a valid instructor number issued by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

(f) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than sixty or more than two hundred fifty dollars for each such violation.

(g) Any course in safe boating operation approved by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, as described in subsection (b) of this section, shall include instruction on the proper means of: (1) Inspecting a vessel and trailers used for transporting such vessels for the presence of vegetation and aquatic invasive species, as determined by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (a) of section 15-180; and (2) properly disposing of such vegetation and such aquatic invasive species.

(P.A. 89-388, S. 1; P.A. 90-274, S. 7, 14; P.A. 91-408, S. 11, 18; P.A. 93-238, S. 2, 6; P.A. 95-145, S. 2, 3; P.A. 03-136, S. 5; 03-244, S. 8; P.A. 08-26, S. 4; P.A. 09-140, S. 6; P.A. 11-80, S. 1; P.A. 12-167, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 90-274 in Subsec. (a) changed effective date from the effective date of the regulations to on or after January 1, 1992, and clarified that the section applies to a vessel powered by a motor in excess of 25 horsepower or a sailboat 19.5 feet or more in length, in Subsec. (b) changed effective date from January 1, 1991, to January 1, 1992, in Subsec. (c) changed effective date from on or after January 1, 1991, to period from January 1, 1992, to September 30, 1993, and added new Subsec. (d) requiring applicants to complete a course in safe boat operation and relettering the remaining Subsec.; P.A. 91-408 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing “certificate of boating operation” with “safe boating certificate”, providing that the certificate be issued by the commissioner of motor vehicles, deleting the provision limiting applicability to the operation of a vessel powered by a motor in excess of twenty-five horsepower or a sailboat 19.5 feet or more in length, replacing the effective date of on and after January 1, 1992, with a staggered schedule commencing October 1, 1992, based on the ascending age of the operator, authorizing the commissioner to issue a certificate to a person who has successfully completed a course in safe boating operation prior to his examination date, and providing that the certificate is nonrevocable, amended Subsec. (b) by providing in Subdiv. (1) that the course may include those offered by the United States Power Squadron, Coast Guard Auxiliary or other organizations, providing in Subdiv. (2) that the examination be administered by the department of motor vehicles, replacing in Subdiv. (3) “a registered or numbered vessel during any period in the five years preceding January 1, 1992” with “a vessel which was registered or numbered pursuant to this chapter in his name as an individual during any period in the five years preceding October 1, 1992”, adding Subdiv. (5) re membership in the United States Power Squadron or United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, and adding provision prohibiting the issuance of a certificate pursuant to Subdivs. (3) and (5) on and after October 1, 1997, amended Subsec. (c) by replacing provisions requiring an applicant to pass an examination or complete a safe boating course with provisions authorizing the issuance of a temporary certificate to a person who purchases a new or used vessel after July 11, 1991, amended Subsec. (d) by replacing provision prohibiting issuance of certificate on and after October 1, 1993, unless the applicant has completed a safe boating course with provision exempting operators of rented vessels from certificate requirement and requiring persons or organizations engaged in the commercial rental of vessels to furnish customers boating safety literature, and amended Subsec. (e) by decreasing the minimum fine from $100 to $60 and the maximum fine from $500 to $200; P.A. 93-238 transferred authority to issue safe boating certificates from the commissioner of motor vehicles to the commissioner of environmental protection and amended Subsec. (c) to specify that no person may be issued more than one temporary certificate, effective June 23, 1993; P.A. 95-145 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) to exempt holders of Coast Guard vessel operator’s license from requirements of this section; P.A. 03-136 added Subsec. (f) re instruction on inspection for and disposal of vegetation, effective June 26, 2003; P.A. 03-244 amended Subsec. (a) to provide for suspension or revocation of a safe boating certificate; P.A. 08-26 made technical changes throughout, added prohibition re authorizing or permitting person less than 16 years of age to operate vessel in Subsec. (a), changed certificate validity period from 6 to 3 months in Subsec. (c), added provisions re boat livery in Subsec. (d), added new Subsec. (e) re operation of vessel by persons under supervision of boating instructor and redesignated existing Subsecs. (e) and (f) as new Subsecs. (f) and (g); P.A. 09-140 amended Subsec. (a) by adding reference to Sec. 15-132a, effective July 1, 2009; pursuant to P.A. 11-80, “Commissioner of Environmental Protection” and “Department of Environmental Protection” were changed editorially by the Revisors to “Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection” and “Department of Energy and Environmental Protection”, respectively, effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 12-167 amended Subsec. (g) to add requirement that course in safe boating operation include instruction on the proper means of inspecting a vessel and trailer for the presence of aquatic invasive species and disposing of such aquatic invasive species, effective July 1, 2012.

See Sec. 15-180 re transporting vessels or trailers without inspecting for properly removing and disposing of vegetation.

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