Marine pilot licences

Find out about marine pilot licences, including how to qualify, how to apply, when they expire, and how to get an exemption.

  About marine pilot licences

Marine pilots are experienced seafarers with extensive local knowledge who assist masters of visiting commercial vessels in navigating around confined waterways in harbours and ports.

Under the Shipping and Pilotage (Ports and Harbours) Regulations 1966, all marine pilots in Western Australia must be licensed by the Department of Transport or hold an exemption certificate.

In order to qualify for a pilot licence, a seafarer must:

  • Hold a Master Class 1, 2 or 3 certificate of competency issued by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
  • Undertake a required number of transits, under prescribed conditions, as a trainee pilot under the direct supervision of a licensed pilot.
  • Meet the required health standards.

Currently, there is no training course requirement.

Opens in a new window Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
Opens in a new window State Law Publisher: Shipping and Pilotage (Ports and Harbours) Regulations 1966 (WA)

  Applying for a marine pilot licence

To apply for a marine pilot licence, you will need to submit the following:

  • Marine Pilot Licence Application Form.
  • 2 passport photographs.
  • Copy of your certificate of competency.
  • Log book of pilotage experience.
  • Curriculum vitae showing your maritime training and experience.
  • Health certificate.

You will also be required to pay a registration fee.


Please ensure that all documentation is clearly labelled and typed in Arial size 12 font. You may use the approved Log Book or provide your own provided it contains all the details required.

Please download the application form below:

MAC-F-MarinePilotLicence.pdf icon Marine pilot licence application form (commercial vessels) Kb

Please submit your application to:

Street address Postal address Telephone Fax Email
  The Operational Standards Team Leader,
Marine Safety, Department of Transport,
GPO Box C102,
Perth WA 6839

Once your application is received, it will be assessed by the Chief Executive Officer. This should take about one month to process, but may take longer if it is incomplete or if it is a busy period.

If your application is successful, you will receive a marine pilot certificate and marine pilot licence card by post.

Expiry and renewal

Marine pilot licences are valid for 5 years. You will need to ensure that your licence is current and valid in order to perform the duties of a pilot.

A renewal notice will be sent to you 10 weeks before your licence expires. You must renew your licence no later than 28 days before expiry.

  Marine pilot exemption certificates

Under Part 5, Division 4 of the Shipping and Pilotage (Ports and Harbours) Regulations 1966, seafarers with extensive knowledge of a particular port can receive an exemption certificate to act as pilots in that port.

To receive an exemption certificate, you will be required to take a practical examination that will cover:

  • Coastal conditions and navigational hazards at the subject port.
  • Creating nautical charts for the subject port.
  • Traffic, communications and other local rules for the subject port.
  • Relevant laws and regulations.

Please download the exemption form below.

MAC-F-MarinePilotExemption.pdf icon Marine pilot exemption form (commercial vessels) Kb
Opens in a new window State Law Publisher: Shipping and Pilotage (Ports and Harbours) Regulations 1966 (WA)


Page last updated: Wed Feb 15 2017 12:25:46 PM