Hire and Drive Vessel Operator Licence - Victoria

Service summary

You will require this licence if you operate a boat hire business where you allow one or more hire and drive vessels to be hired to people for use on regulated waterways. A hire and drive vessel is a watercraft vessel that is intended to be let, leased, or hired to people, including vessels provided at a holiday establishment for the use of tenants or guests.

Vessels are usually boats with an enclosed engine able to be driven by a person without a boat licence. They may be used for day trips or in the case of houseboats, hired for days or weeks at a time.

Generally, licensing arrangements apply to hire operators of:

  • Personal Water Craft (also known as PWCs or jet skis)
  • mechanically powered hire and drive vessels capable of 10 knots or more.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for this licence you must:

  • be aged 16 years or over
  • submit an application that contains all the required information
  • be willing to abide by any conditions imposed on your licence
  • possess a relevant and current boat licence
  • have a current certificate of survey for each vessel
  • pay the prescribed fee.

Please consult the responsible agency for more information regarding eligibility requirements.

Ongoing requirements

You will need to abide by any conditions placed on your licence by the Agency, including the requirement to display notice of this licence on your vessel. You will also need to:

  • maintain all vessels in a seaworthy state
  • make your vessels available for inspection when required by the agency
  • develop safety management plans for each hire and drive fleet
  • offer pre-trip safety briefing and sign a safety checklist before you hire any vessel (whether mechanically powered or not)
  • display safety information on vessels.


Up to 5 years.



Please consult the responsible agency for information on fees to be submitted.



Application for Hire and Drive Vessel Operator Licence - Please contact the responsible agency for application forms and registration details.



Your written application must provide all the required information, including:

  • Your name and address;
  • The number of vessels to be hired under the permit with details of dimensions of each vessel, the identifying number or mark on each vessel and, if applicable, the name of each vessel; and
  • A copy of a current certificate of survey for each vessel.

Administering agency

Transport Safety Victoria

Act(s) name

Water Act 1989 (Victoria)

Marine Safety Act 2010 (Victoria)

Contact details

Transport Safety Victoria

Operating address:
121 Exhibition Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Mailing address:
GPO BOX 2797
Melbourne, Victoria 3001




03 96556611


http://www.transportsafety.vic.gov.au Opens in a new browser window

Supporting information


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