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Title: Boat Master License
Alternate Title:

A holder of a Boat Master license may operate any vessel navigating inland waters of the state of Minnesota that is propelled by machinery or sails and is carrying more than six passengers for hire. Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI)

Subject: Watercraft
Creation Date: 9/11/2008 2:10:45 PM
Modification Date: 2/8/2024 4:58:28 PM
Agency Name: Labor and Industry (DLI), Minnesota Department of
Agency URL:
Agency Description: The agency oversees the state's programs for apprenticeship, construction codes and licensing, dual-training (PIPELINE Program), occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards, workers' compensation and youth skills training programs. The Office of Combative Sports, within the Department of Labor & Industry, ensures Minnesota's combative sporting events are conducted in a manner that minimizes injuries and ensures fair competition.
Agency Phone: 651-284-5005
Agency Fax: Agency URL:
Agency Address:
443 Lafayette Road N.

St. Paul
MN 55155

Division Name: Construction Codes and Licensing Division (CCLD)
Division URL:
Division Description:
Division Phone: Division Fax: Division URL:
Unit Name: CCLD Licensing and Certification Services
Unit URL:
Unit Description:
Unit Phone: 651-284-5034
Unit Fax: Contact person(s):
Unit URL:
Audience: Application URL:
Renewal URL:
Versa URL:


Boat Master License

Requirements for operating boats for hire

Requirements and qualifications

  • At least 15 hours of supervised training experience operating a boat for hire.
  • Affidavit signed by the licensed boat master who supervised the applicant's training experience.
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  • Application must be signed.
  • Must pass license examination with a score of at least 70 percent.

Application process

  • You must pass a written exam for a boat master license. To take the exam, all required applicant information must be provided for the application to be processed, including signed and notarized affidavits of training experience

  • You can apply online to be approved to take the exam.

  • The exam fee is $50.

  • The applicant is notified by mail to schedule an exam date online.

  • When you are approved to take the exam you will be given instructions about how to schedule your exam.

  • View more information about exams

Access iMS to begin the license application or renewal process

Individuals holding a valid, current charter boat captain's license issued by the United States Coast Guard are considered licensed to carry passengers for hire in Minnesota and not required to obtain this license.


  • Exam is 40 questions (closed book)
  • Exam covers operation, maintenance inspection, and operator licensing of boats carrying passengers for hire.
  • Exam results are mailed to applicant after the completed exam is scored.

Rules: 5225.6150

Statutes: 326.94


License exam application


$50 application fee (exam qualification only)

$60 license fee

$60 renewal fee

$90 fee with late fee

Period of Issuance:

Two years, expiring in the biennial anniversary month after the license was originally issued.

Length of Determination:

Properly completed applications are processed in a timely manner. All required applicant information must be provided for the application to be processed, including affidavits of training experience. Affidavits must be signed and notarized. The applicant is notified by mail to schedule an examination date online.

Other Info:
Activity: Watercraft
Boats Carrying Passengers for Hire
License Detail URL:

Boat Master License

Requirements for Boats-for-Hire

License and Registration Lookup

Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (DLI)

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