Article 3. For-hire Vessel Operators’ Licenses of California Harbors And Navigation Code >> Division 3. >> Chapter 5. >> Article 3.
As used in this article, "for-hire vessel" includes any vessel
propelled by machinery carrying more than three passengers for hire,
except the following:
(a) A sea plane on the water.
(b) A watercraft specifically designed to operate on a permanently
fixed course, the movement of which is restricted to or guided on
such permanently fixed course by means of a mechanical device on a
fixed track or arm to which the watercraft is attached or by which
the watercraft is controlled, or by means of a mechanical device
attached to the watercraft itself.
No for-hire vessel, while carrying passengers for hire, shall
be operated or navigated on the waters of this state except by a
person who holds a valid license issued by the department pursuant to
the provisions of this article. This requirement, however, shall not
apply to persons who operate a for-hire vessel on waters of this
state which have been declared to be navigable by agencies of the
An applicant for an operator's license shall submit his
written verified application to the department. The application shall
be in such form and contain such information as the department
Upon application for an operator's license, the department
shall require an examination of the applicant. The department shall
adopt rules and regulations establishing the requirements for the
examination which will demonstrate to the department the applicant's
competency in the operation of vessels.
If an applicant presents a valid operator's license issued
pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Motorboat Act of 1940
(Title 46, U.S.C., Section 526f) or the federal act of May 10, 1956,
(Title 46, U.S.C. 390-390g), the department may issue an operator's
license without requiring an examination.
The examination may include a test of the applicant's
knowledge of safety rules, an actual demonstration of his ability to
exercise ordinary and reasonable control in operating a vessel, and
his mental and physical fitness. The examination may also include an
inspection of the for-hire vessel.
Upon completion of the examination, the department may, with
or without hearing, issue the operator's license or issue it for the
partial exercise only of the privilege sought, and may attach to the
exercise of the rights granted by the license such terms and
conditions as, in its judgment, the public safety requires.
If the department refuses to grant an operator's license the
proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5
(commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of
the Government Code, and in all cases the department shall have all
the powers granted therein.
An operator's license issued by the department pursuant to the
provisions of this article shall be valid for five years from the
date of issuance or renewal and may be renewed every five years
thereafter unless suspended or revoked pursuant to Section 768. The
department may adopt rules and regulations establishing the
requirments for renewal of any license issued under this article,
including therein requirements for acuity of vision, color sense and
general physical condition.
(a) The department may suspend or revoke any license issued
pursuant to this article on a finding that the licensee has violated
any of the provisions in this chapter, or has violated any of the
regulations promulgated pursuant to carrying out the provisions of
this article. The department may also revoke any license issued
pursuant to this article upon any of the grounds which authorize the
refusal to issue a license.
If the department suspends or revokes an operator's license, the
proceedings shall be in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with
Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government
Code, and in all cases the department shall have all the powers
(b) The period of time for suspension during which the person may
not apply for his license shall be determined by the department. The
department shall not renew an operator's license which has been
revoked until the expiration of one year after the date of such
revocation unless the revocation was for a cause which has been
The department shall be responsible for administering the
licensing of operators of for-hire vessels and for enforcing the
provisions of this article, and in this connection may inspect
for-hire vessels as defined in Section 760 on waters of this state
other than those waters which have been declared to be navigable by
agencies of the federal government.
The division shall make rules and regulations to carry out the
provisions of this article, including adopting a schedule to
establish reasonable fees that cover the division's cost for exams,
licensing, renewals, and other services provided by the division
under this article.
It is unlawful and constitutes a misdemeanor for any person to
violate, or to fail to comply with, any provision of this article
after April 1, 1964.
The authority and power granted to the department in this
article shall not be construed to conflict with or diminish in any
manner the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission over
for-hire vessels or common carriers, as those terms are defined in
the Public Utilities Code.