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BOATsmart! Canada's Official Boating License

Ontario’s Official
Boating License

The Official Online Transport Canada Boating Course, Test and License.

The Official Online Transport Canada Boating Course, Test and License.

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$29.95 per boater

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$34.95 per boater

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$39.95 per boater

Standard Fee
$49.95 per boater

Transport Canada Approved Boating License
Canada's Official Boating License
Ontario’s Official
Boating License
The Official Online Transport Canada Course, Test & License
The Official Online Transport Canada
Course, Test & License

Free Retries Included $49.95

Valid in all Provinces

Transport Canada
Marine Safety & Security
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N8

675,078 Certified

Canada’s Boating Educator
Unlimited Test Retries
Certified For Life

675,078 Certified

Canada’s Boating Educator
Unlimited Test Retries
Certified For Life

675,078 COURSES COMPLETED & COUNTING
Boating License Course Boat license canada

Go Boating Today

Fast, official and easy. Take your BOATsmart!® Exam online and get your Ontario boating license for life.

1. Study Online

Comprehensive narrations & animations help you learn.

2. Ace the test

Unlimited free retries guarantee you’ll pass.

3. Get on the water

Congrats Captain! Your permanent card is in the mail.

Who needs an Ontario Boating License?

Listen up! In Ontario, all operators of motorized boats are required to obtain and carry a Pleasure Craft Operator Card regardless of age, length of boat or engine horsepower. There’s a $250 fine for boating without it.

who needs an ontario boating license
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Approved,
Accredited
& awesome

We've been making smart boaters for more than 15 years. BOATsmart! is Canada's largest Transport Canada Accredited Course Provider. Your BOATsmart! Card is also accepted in more than 40 U.S. states. We’ve got you covered!

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Boaters & growing

Made for boaters, by boaters. The BOATsmart! Course is the fastest, easiest way to get your Official Canadian Boating License. Study at your own pace and we'll automatically track your progress. We include 24/7 access, live customer support and a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Plus, exclusive partner discounts.

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Official BOATsmart! Course

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Canadian Boating Knowledge Base

Boating in Ontario

Trusted and recognized from coast to coast

Did you know that there are approximately 250,000 lakes and over 100,000 kms of rivers in Ontario? It’s no wonder this province is considered to have some of the very best boating in Canada! On top of that, Ontario is home to The Muskokas and surrounding lakeland areas, including the Kawartha Lakes and the Haliburton Highlands, where the term ‘cottage country’ originated.

How to get a boat license in Ontario

A Pleasure Craft License or ‘boat license’ is a document and a set of I.D. numbers. The document must be on board your boat at all times and the numbers must be displayed on the bow of your boat at all times.

Do I need a Pleasure Craft License?

All motorized boats and PWCs in Ontario powered by 10 horsepower or more are required to have a Pleasure Craft License. The number must be displayed on both sides of the bow, above the waterline, as far forward as possible, in block letters at least 7.5cm high that contrast with the colour of the boat.

You can obtain a 10 year license for free from Service Canada. You must renew the license after the 10 year period has expired.

How to get a pleasure craft license

You can obtain a 10 year license for free one of the following two ways:

Option 1: Apply for a free Pleasure Craft License online.
Option 2: Download a paper application form and mail the completed form to the Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre at the following address:

Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre
P.O. Box 2006
Fredericton, New Brunswick
E3B 5G4

Ontario Boating Laws & Fines

Ontario’s laws for boating & alcohol

The fines and penalties for driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol in Ontario are the same as those for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

A drunk boater may have their driver’s license suspended for a minimum of 1 year.

Ontario’s Ignition Interlock Program will apply to those convicted of drunk boating.

A boat operator’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level cannot exceed 80 mg. This is the legal alcohol limit in Ontario.

There is NO difference between drunk driving & drunk boating.

Boat passengers may consume alcohol on board a boat in Ontario so long as the boat is licensed for alcohol consumption, or the boat has a permanent toilet, cooking facilities, sleeping facilities and it is anchored or docked.

Contact the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) for more information about the laws for boating with alcohol in Ontario.

Ontario’s Age & Horsepower Restrictions

12 years of age & under
Can operate a boat without supervision so long as the engine is not more than 10 horsepower and they have proof of competency. They are not allowed to operate a PWC under any conditions.

12-16 years of age
Can operate a boat without supervision as long as the engine is not more than 40 horsepower and they have proof of competency. They are not allowed to operate a PWC under any conditions.

16+ years of age
Can operate a boat or PWC without supervision or horsepower restrictions so long as they have proof of competency.

$250

Failure to carry a Pleasure Craft Operator Card

$250

Violation of age and horsepower restrictions

$200

Insufficient number of Transport Canada approved lifejackets or PFDs (warning: the fine applies for EACH missing or improper lifejacket or PFD)

$250

Operating a PWC under 16 years of age

$500

Operating a vessel in an unsafe manner

Ontario Boating FAQs

What is a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)?

 

A PCOC, more commonly known by Ontario’s boating community as a ‘boating license’, is a federal competency card. You must obtain and carry your PCOC in order to legally operate any powerboat or motorized boat in Canada. Unlike your driver’s licence, your PCOC can not be suspended or revoked, and once obtained, it’s good for life! Make sure you’re carrying it on board while boating! It doesn’t count if you’ve obtained your boating license… but it’s sitting on the kitchen counter while you’re out boating!

 

Where can I get my Pleasure Craft Operator Card in Ontario?

 

Right here! Simply take Canada’s Online Boating Course and Test now. Once you pass the open-book Test you can print your Temporary Card right away and go boating. Your Official BOATsmart! Card will arrive in the mail just a few weeks later. Take the Course online, with any device, from anywhere – even with your smartphone from that Muskoka chair on the dock.

 

Do I need boat insurance in Ontario?

 

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) patrol Ontario’s waterways.
The OPP operates out of 165 detachments spread all across the province and you can get in touch with Ontario’s law enforcement from anywhere in Ontario.

For emergencies on the water, like a boating accident or drowning, always dial 911.

For non-emergency related reasons, like questions and queries about the rules and regulations in your area, call:

1 888 310-1122
1 888 310-1133 (TTY)

 

Who enforces Ontario's Boating laws and regulations?

 

Buying a boat in Ontario? Whether it’s a brand new boat from a dealership or a used boat from someone down the lake, you are required to obtain a Pleasure Craft License for it and to make sure it has all of the required boating safety equipment. For information about licensing your boat, see the section below.

 

What are the laws in Ontario for Boating and Alcohol?

 

The OPP enforces the laws for drinking and boating in Ontario and they are on the waterways regularly to patrol the waters. We always recommend that you keep the drinks at the cottage & keep it dry on the lake! For the specific laws for boating with alcohol in Ontario, see the list we’ve provided below.

 

How old do I have to be to get a boating license in Ontario?

 

There is no minimum age to take the online boating course and get your boating license. Boaters of all ages, including those less than 16 years of age, are legally required to have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card when operating a boat in Canada. All ages need their PCOC and there are also horsepower restrictions for younger boaters which include:

No children under 12 years of age can operate a powerboat with a more than 10 horsepower engine.

Youths, aged 12 to 15 may only operate a boat with a motor up to 40 horsepower unsupervised.

Operators must be at least 16 years of age to operate a personal watercraft, such as a Jet Ski or Sea Doo.

 

How long does it take to get my Ontario Boating license?

 

The Online Course & Test take approximately 3 hours to complete. You can print your Temporary Card immediately once you pass the Transport Canada Test, and your Permanent Card will arrive in the mail within 4 weeks! This is the fastest way to get your boating license, Ontario!

 

What do I need to know about building a dock or boathouse in Ontario?

 

We don’t claim to be the experts on this one, but we’ve been wondering too! Turns out, Ontario’s rules for building docks and boathouses have recently changed. We’ve summarized this for you here.

 

Can i get free boating lessons after taking the course?

 

Yes! We know that boating laws can change over time and that it can be tough to perform boating skills like docking your boat in the wind or anchoring your boat for an overnight stay on the water. There’s also lots to know about the safety equipment you need on your boat and the different types of buoys on the water in Ontario. That’s why we’ve created our free BOATsmart! Knowledge Base. You can find anything you need to know in there! If you would like to have a handbook to have with you on the boat, you can also order a BOATsmart! Study Guide. We’ve got you covered, Ontario!

 

Do I need a boating license to rent a boat in Ontario?

 

When renting a boat, you can use your completed boat rental safety checklist as your proof of operator competency. However, it’s a super smart idea to get your official BOATsmart! Card as your proof of operator competency. A checklist won’t teach you how to respond if your pontoon boat runs aground or if a passenger falls overboard when you’re out wake surfing!

Go Boating in Ontario

Did you know that there are approximately 250,000 lakes and over 100,000 kms of rivers in Ontario? It’s no wonder this province is considered to have some of the very best boating in Canada! On top of that, Ontario is home to The Muskokas and surrounding lakeland areas, including the Kawartha Lakes and the Haliburton Highlands, where the term ‘cottage country’ originated.

With so many awesome spots to hit the water in Ontario, choosing a starting point may seem impossible! But no worries, there’s really no bad place to go boating in Ontario. Whether you’re exploring the breathtaking wilderness of Northern Ontario’s lakes, like the pristine Lake of the Woods, cruising the urban shorelines of Toronto or Kingston on Lake Ontario, exploring the Trent Severn waterway that features 386 kms of canal and Peterborough’s Lift Lock, the largest hydraulic boat lift in the world, or visiting one of Ontario’s Provincial Parks, you’ll find no shortage of boat launch locations. To find an Ontario boat launch near you, check out Discover Boating’s marina finder, then hook up the boat trailer and head out! Just make sure you’ve got your Ontario Boating License (Pleasure Craft Operator Card) with you on your awesome boating adventure.

Going fishing in Ontario? It’s really awesome here – anglers from around the world come to take part in Ontario’s premier fishing. You can reel in record-breaking Largemouth Bass, Carp, Muskie and Pike! Don’t forget to find out about Ontario’s fishing regulations and pick up an Ontario fishing license.

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