Who has to have a RST?
Find out about the Recreational Skipper's Ticket - what it is, when it is required, and who has to have one. You can also apply for a replacement card if needed.
What is the Recreational Skipper's Ticket?
The Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) is a nationally-recognised certificate of competency which shows that the holder has the minimum knowledge and practical skills needed to operate a powerboat safely.
It is the minimum qualification needed to operate a powerboat in Western Australia.
The RST is not a licence, so there is no need to renew the Ticket or pay ongoing fees.
Regulation 47 of the Navigable Waters Regulations 1958 (WA) requires the person in charge of a vessel with a motor that exceeds 6 hp (4.5 kW) in power to hold a Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST).
The RST was developed using the National Marine Safety Committee's (NMSC) guidelines for recreational boat operator competencies. For more information, please visit the NMSC website.
In excess of 216,000 RSTs have been issued since the program began in 2006.
|Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA): National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety|
|Department of Justice: Navigable Waters Regulations 1958 (WA)|
Who has to have one?
A person must have a Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) if:
- He or she is the person in charge of an RST vessel.
- The vessel is being operated in the water.
An RST vessel is any boat that is:
- Registered with the Department of Transport, or required to be registered.
- Used for recreational purposes.
- Powered by has an engine with more than 6 hp (4.5 kW).
Only the person-in-charge of the boat (the 'skipper') needs to have an RST, but he or she must have it with them the entire time the boat is in operation. The skipper is responsible for what happens on the boat during the voyage, but this doesn't mean that he or she must be at the wheel the whole time.
Please go to How to get an RST for information on how to apply for an RST.
You do not need an RST to own a boat that is docked or on land. You also do not need an RST to operate a vessel that does not have a motor, or that has a motor with a power of 6 hp (4.5 kW) or less.
The minimum age to obtain a Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) is 14 years old.
For more information on age limits to operate recreational boats, please go to General rules and regulations.
Seafarers who have commercial certificates of competency are still required to hold a Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) in order to be the person-in-charge of an RST vessel.
This can be done by having your commercial qualification recognised as equivalent to an RST. Please go to RST skills recognition and equivalents for instructions on how to do so.
If you hold an equivalent certificate from another state or country, or have a commercial qualification, you may be eligible for certain exemptions.
Please go to RST skills recognition and equivalents for more information.
RST for Hire & Drive vessels
The Department strongly recommends that drivers of Hire & Drive vessels hold appropriate qualifications for the type of vessel they are using. In the case of vessels used for recreation, this means holding a RST.
In some cases involving Hire & Drive vessels, a RST should not be necessary. Examples include on-site hire arrangements and cases where the vessel is part of an organised and supervised tour.
Please download the following document for comprehensive information about the Departmentís policy for Recreational Skippers Ticket requirements for Leisure Craft Operations.
|Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST): Requirements for hire and drive vessels||Kb|
RST - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Recreational Skipper's Ticket?
The Recreational Skipper's Ticket is a certificate of competency for recreational boaters. It is not a licence. It is a one-off assessment of boating skills and knowledge.
The length of time it takes is flexible, and depends on a few factors:
- Whether you attend a course or self-study.
- Whether you take the theory and practical assessments on the same day.
- Whether you take the theory and practical assessments from the same provider.
How much will it cost?
Fees are charged directly by the authorised provider, and are not regulated by the Department of Transport. Please contact the providers to find out their fees.
There are no renewal fees.
What do I need to take to the assessment? What is the process?
To take the Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) assessment, you will need to:
- Contact an authorised provider to enrol.
- Provide eyesight, medical and proof of identity documents (a valid Motor Drivers Licence is sufficient).
- Get a letter of consent from a parent or guardian (if under 18 years of age).
Are there any exemptions?
Yes. If you hold a skipper's ticket from another state or country, or have a commercial qualification, you may be eligible for certain exemptions.
How does the RST affect hire-and-drive vessels?
Certain categories of hire-and-drive vessels require a Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST), but others do not.
Any hire-and-drive vessel with an engine capacity of more than 6 hp (4.5 kW), such as one rented from a company with a trailerable hire and drive licence, requires an RST.
Other types of hire-and-drive vessels generally do not require an RST, such as:
- Vessels hired from a company with an on-site hire and drive licence (if certain conditions are met).
- Vessels with an engine capacity of 6 hp (4.5 kW).
- Vessels with no motor attached.
Do I need an RST if I have an interstate boat licence and want to holiday in WA?
If you hold a foreign skipper's ticket from another state or country, and you intend to stay for less than 3 months, you will not be required to hold a WA Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST).
If you intend to stay for longer than 3 months, you will be required to obtain an RST.