How to get an RST

Find out where you can take a Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) assessment, how much it costs, and what is in the test.

  Overview: how to get an RST

If you would like to get a Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST), you will need to pass an assessment by an authorised provider.

The authorised provider may also conduct training, but this is not compulsory. You can choose to study on your own, using the RST Workbook and quizzes, and take the assessment only.

Once you pass, the assessor will issue you an interim certificate which is valid for 3 months from the date of issue. Your RST card will be sent to you within that time, once your details have been received and processed by the Department of Transport.


If you have a prior qualification, you may be exempt from all or part of the assessment. Please go to Skills recognition and equivalents for more information.

  Step 1:RST documents required

Prior to taking the assessment, you will need to provide:

  • Proof of eyesight requirement.
  • Declaration of medical fitness.
  • Proof of identity.
  • Letter of consent (if younger than 18 years age).

Typically, a Western Australian driver's licence is sufficient to meet the identity and eyesight requirements.

Information on each of the requirements is provided below.

  Step 2:RST eyesight and medical fitness requirements

Eyesight requirements

The minimum vision standard required to be in charge of a recreational powerboat is the same as to operate a motor vehicle in Western Australia: 6/12 in one eye, with corrective lenses.

Applicants should show the assessor a valid Western Australian driver's licence as proof of meeting the eyesight requirement.

If you don't have a driver's licence, please submit an eyesight assessment form (available below), which is to be completed by an optometrist, medical practitioner or registered nurse.

Medical fitness requirements

Certain medical conditions could affect your ability to operate a recreational vessel safely.

All Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) applicants must provide a medical declaration that they do not suffer from any of the following:

  • Epilepsy, fits, giddiness, fainting or seizures.
  • Heart disease.
  • High or low blood pressure.
  • Arthritis.
  • Type 1 diabetes.
  • Any physical or mental disability.

If you suffer from any of these medical conditions, you must submit a declaration of medical fitness completed by a medical practitioner.

The RST eyesight declaration and declaration of medical fitness is conducted under the National Medical Standards as set out in Assessing Fitness to Drive 2003.

Please use the following form for your eyesight and medical check ups:

  Step 3:RST proof of identity requirements

As part of the enrolment process, you will need to provide proof of your identity with your name and signature. This will usually be a valid photographic Western Australian driver's licence.

If you do not have a valid driver's licence, you will need to provide either:

  • 1 full proof of identity (POI) document.
  • 1 primary plus one secondary POI document.

You can bring along either the originals or certified copies, but at least one document must have your signature.

  Step 4:RST training

Training or completing a course is not compulsory. You can study on your own using the RST Workbook and quizzes and learn to drive a vessel with a supervising skipper.

Your supervising skipper can be a parent, relative or friend but they must hold a RST and be at least 18 years of age.

Learning to drive a vessel can be very stressful for you and your instructor, especially at the beginning. Starting off with a professional instructor who has a lot of marine experience can be a good idea to teach you the basic vessel control skills and make sure you develop the right skippering habits.

Professional instructors will also be able to let you know how your skills compare to the RST assessment standard. When choosing a professional, remember to consider more than just the price of lessons. Check that your instructor offers the following:

  • A planned training program.
  • Structured lessons where the instructor will show you what to do, explain what is required in a way you easily understand and then let you practice at your own pace.
  • Feedback on how you are doing.
  • Tips for correcting mistakes.
  • A quick review of your progress at the beginning and end of each task.

The Department of Transport does not regulate professional training instructors for the RST. If you do not get this level of instruction, look around for another instructor who will provide you with quality training.

Many of the authorised RST Assessors also provide a training service. For contact details, and information on the WA regions they are active in, please download the information sheet below.

RST authorised providers

Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) assessments must be conducted by an authorised provider.

For contact details, and information on the WA regions they are active in, please download the information sheet below.

  Step 5:RST assessment

The Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) assessment is designed to test your skills and knowledge of boating safety.

The assessment consists of 2 sections:

  • Theory.
  • Practical.

You must pass the theory component before you can proceed to the practical.

You can choose to do both assessments on the same day, or on different days, or have each assessed by a different provider.

Theoretical section

The theoretical section of the Recreational Skipper's Ticket (RST) assessment consists of 40 multiple-choice questions, of which you will need 34 correct answers to pass.

The questions will check your understanding of:

  • Recreational boating rules and regulations.
  • International marine collision rules.
  • Buoys and other navigation aids.
  • Use of navigation lights on boats.
  • Maintenance of a vessel's structure, motor and equipment.
  • Required safety equipment.
  • Trip planning and responsibilities to passengers.
  • Distress signals and responding to emergencies.

The theoretical section should take about 1 hour to complete.

Practical section

Once you have passed the theoretical section, you can move on to the practical section of the assessment, where you have to undertake a short boating trip.

The aim of the practical assessment is for you to demonstrate skills that can be applied to any trip, such as trip preparation and vessel manoeuvring, plus showing that you can cope with unexpected events. A result of at least 56 out of the 62 criteria (fewer than 6 wrong) to be deemed competent.

During the voyage, you will be required to complete 11 tasks:

  1. Operate a vessel within the rules and regulations.
  2. Check the condition of a vessel's anchors, lines and equipment.
  3. Conduct a safety briefing for those on board.
  4. Start the motor safely.
  5. Log a voyage plan.
  6. Safely departing a berth.
  7. Conduct a simulated man overboard operation.
  8. Steer a steady course with the aid of a transit.
  9. Perform a controlled stop.
  10. Return to a berth and secure the vessel.
  11. Log off.

The practical assessment will vary slightly based on the type of boat used, the location and any other events happening on the water.

It should take about 1 hour to complete, during which you are requires to act as the skipper the vessel.

  RST applicants under 18

If you are under 18, you must have a letter of consent signed by your parent or guardian to take the assessment. The form can be downloaded below.

If your surname differs from your parent's or guardian's, you must also produce primary identification to prove your relationship to them.

  Recreational Skippers Ticket (RST) fees

You will need to pay for the assessment and for optional training, which are paid directly to the authorised RST training provider. The Department of Transport does not regulate these fees, and you are encouraged to shop around for the best deal.

You can take the assessment as many times as you need to pass, but you may be required to pay a fee for each attempt.


The RST is valid for your lifetime, and there are no recurring or renewal fees or charges. However, a fee is payable for the re-issue of a lost/destroyed RST card.

Recreational Skippers Ticket (RST) fees

Fee type Fee
Recording fee (new) Recreational Skippers Ticket application $31.00
Replacement of Recreational Skippers Ticket card $23.80

  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.

Page last updated: Thu Aug 26 2021 9:29:16 AM