BOATsmart! Canada
Knowledge Base

Module 01 - Boating Basics

Canada’s Pleasure Craft Operator Laws

Proof of competency is required for all operators of recreational motor boats. It must be carried on board the boat at all times, and must be available for inspection by law enforcement.

There are no exemptions for engine size, boat length, or boat operator age. Operators should also carry personal identification.

Proof of competency can include:

  • A Pleasure Craft Operator Card
  • Proof of having taken a boating safety course in Canada prior to April 1, 1999
  • An approved marine certificate
  • A completed rental boat safety checklist 

If you cannot provide proof of competency to a law enforcement officer, you will face a minimum $250.00 fine, plus administrative fees.

Non-residents

Non-residents, who visit Canada by a boat registered outside of Canada, for less than 45 consecutive days, do not require proof of competency.

Non-residents who operate a boat that is registered or licensed in Canada must carry proof of competency and proof of residency at all times.  In cases like these, an operator card or similar proof of competency issued by your home state or country, and Canada, is acceptable.

BOATsmart! docking course material on tablet with PCOC card.
BOATsmart! PCOC card.

Get your Official Canadian
Boating License

The Official Transport Canada Boating Course, Test & License.

Get your Official Canadian
Boating License

The Official Transport Canada Boating
Course, Test & License.

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