The New York State Legislature publishes all the laws of the State on the web. Select the link for Laws of New York at the bottom of the page. The Navigation Law is listed under NAV. Article 3 concerns itself with the navigable water of the state, while Article 4 covers the conduct of vessels.
The Vehicle and Traffic Law (VAT), Title 11, Article 48, covers the registration of vessels. The Department of Motor Vehicles administers the registration of vessels, and they have an excellent FAQ that can be accessed on their website.
Laws regarding the use of the lands under the water, including docks, can be found in the Public Lands Law (PBL), Article 6. The Office of General Services administers these provisions.
Lake George also has rules and regulations unique to that waterway. For more information, please visit the Lake George Park Commission's website.
Beginning May 1, 2014, Sections 49, 71-d, 75, 78 and 79 of the Navigation Law shall be amended to provide for mandatory boater safety education. For the complete text of these laws, please visit New York State Legislature.
Any person born on or after May 1, 1996 and at least 10 years old who operates a motorboat must be the holder of a boating safety certificate issued by one of State Parks, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadron.
An approved course of instruction includes at least 8-hours of classroom training and a proctored examination. Students must be at least 10 years of age to take a course. Age and education requirements for personal watercraft operators remain unchanged.
Motor Boat Education Requirements:
Motor Boat Operators Exempted From Having To Hold A Boating Safety Certificate:
The Navigation Law has been amended to extend the expiration date of Section 73-a, Subdivision 2, regarding the rental of personal watercraft. Persons over the age of 18 renting personal watercraft may continue to operate them without having to hold a boating safety certificate. This provision, set to expire on January 1, 2012, will now expire in 2014.
No other changes have been made to this section.