In order to legally operate a motorized pleasure craft in Canada, you must be able to provide proof of competency. Unless you have completed a boating safety course in Canada prior to April 1, 1999, obtained a specified marine safety certificate issued to professional mariners.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the legal requirements to operate a boat in Canada?
Boat operators must be able to prove competency in the operation of a boat. Acceptable forms of competency are:
- Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)
- Boat Rental Safety Checklist completed in the name of the renter (operator)
- Proof of completion of a boat operator safety course successfully completed prior to 1999
- Certain specified marine certificates
What is a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?
Commonly referred to as a boating license, a Pleasure Craft Operator Card is not a license at all. It is a plasticized card similar in size to a credit card that is issued from a Transport Canada accredited course provider.
Who needs a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?
Everyone who operates an engine-powered boat (also known as a vessel or pleasure craft) of any size must have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (or acceptable alternate form of proof of competency) in their possession.
What other forms of competency are acceptable?
A completed Boat Rental Safety Check List in the name of the operator or another recognized boat safety course certificate that was issued prior to April 1, 1999 are acceptable proof of competency.
Do I need a Pleasure Craft Operator Card if I rent a boat?
Can I still operate a boat if I don’t have a pleasure craft operator card?
You cannot operate a boat that is powered by an engine unless you are in possession of proof of operator competency.
How do I get a Pleasure Craft Operator Card? What are the options and processes?
There are several ways to attain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). You must pass a Transport Canada Boating Safety Test in order to receive a PCOC. This can only be done through a Transport Canada accredited course provider. Once you feel ready to take the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test, contact an accredited course provider. In order to prepare for the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test you must be familiar with a series of established knowledge statements. You can attend a study course from an accredited course provider, self-study and challenge the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test. The simplest method is to enroll in a CanadaBoatSafety.com online course and take the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test from the comfort of your home or office.
How long will it take to receive my Pleasure Craft Operator Card?
After completion of the course and quizzes, access will be granted to the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test. Once you pass, you will be able to print a temporary PCOC immediately from your computer.
How long is a Pleasure Craft Operator Card good for?
Once you get your PCOC, it is good for life. There are no renewal fees or expiry dates, and it is not graduated by age.
What happens if I lose my card?
It is highly recommended that you purchase additional cards in case one gets lost or damaged. If you lose your card you can contact CanadaBoatSafety.com and purchase replacements. If you forget who provided your card, Transport Canada will have your information on record for replacement information.
Can I complete the course and test alone?
This process can be completed entirely on your own. There is no need to find a supervisor or course proctor for the online process.
What is the test process and passing mark? What if I fail the test?
Is the online payment process safe and confidential and will CanadaBoatSafety.com keep my personal information safe?
Is CanadaBoatSafety.com a Canadian company?
CanadaBoatSafety.com is a 100% Canadian company employing Canadians and investing in Canada. We operate out of Ontario and are dedicated to an online educational experience that is convenient, safe and affordable.
How long do I have to complete the course and take the test?