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Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
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Boat Master License


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.

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.

License fees

Length of license

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

Application process

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 exam date online.


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.

Examination process

  • 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.

FormsApply or renew online

Continuing education

  • No continuing education hours are required

Complaints and enforcement

The department investigates complaints and reported violations of licensing laws. Offenders are subject to disciplinary action including the assessment of monetary penalties and the denial, suspension, or revocation of licenses.

Statues and rules

Contact Information

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
Attn: CCLD Licensing and Certification Services
443 Lafayette Road N.
Saint Paul, MN 55155


Please Note: The Department of Labor and Industry does not accept cash as payment for licenses, inspections, copy requests and other DLI services. Accepted methods of payment include checks, money orders and electronic payments that can be made through the DLI Web site.

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