NEW YORK STATE (WENY) -- With the nicer weather and summer a couple of months away, people are going to want to get out on their boats or jet-skis. To encourage people to get their boating license, the Chemung County Sheriff's Office is hosting free classes.

"We try to do it in the spring/before summer kicks off [since] that's the time to do it because people are already out on the water and don't want to take it in the summertime," said Chemung County Sheriff Bill Schrom.

According to the New York Safe Boating Education Program, "In 2024: If you are operating any other type of motorized boat, you will need a safety certificate if you were born January 1, 1978 or later. Starting in 2025, all operators of motorized vessels, regardless of age, will be required to have a safety certificate."

Sheriff Schrom said the department encourages anyone who meets the age requirements to get their boating license sooner, rather than later.

"You can get it as young as the age of 10...You should keep it on your person just like any other time like if you're [driving] a vehicle. You have to be able to produce it should you be stopped on the water...We encourage people to keep it in their boat's/personal watercraft's glove compartment so it's easily accessible.

Anyone interested in attending a class is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (607)-737-2987 ext. 74104. Each class will be limited to 30 people and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Classes are based on a first-come, first-served basis and you must pre-register for the class.

If you do pass the class, you'll receive a temporary certificate until your actual boating license arrives, which is good for life. If you've lost your boating license and need a replacement, click here.

A list of dates/locations of Boater Safety Courses in Chemung County can be found below:

04/06/2024 - Golden Glow Fire Department
04/13/2024 - Big Flats Community Center
04/20/2024 - West Elmira Fire Department

05/04/2024 - Southport Fire Department
05/11/2024 - Golden Flow Fire Department
05/18/2024 - West Elmira Fire Department