Pleasure Craft Operator Card

This summary is provided for convenience only. Get current details from
Canada's Office?of?Boating?Safety, which regulates recreational boating.

Do you Have the Card?

All Canadian boat operators must carry proof of competency - normally a Pleasure Craft Operator Card - to operate any boat with a motor. It's often referred to as "the Card", boating licence, or PCOC.

Who must carry proof of competency? Age restrictions:

The Basics

After ten years phasing in the program, the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations require operators (as described above) of pleasure craft fitted with a motor and used for recreational purposes to carry proof of competency. Fines up to $250 will be given for non-compliance.

Electric trolling motors, canoes or dinghies with motors (even when being rowed), and PWCs are all considered motorized craft; sailboats, dinghies, canoes and kayaks without motors are not.

There are special rules for renters (see below). Non-residents and visitors are exempt if boating in Canada less than 45 days during the year.

In Ontario, you must also have a boat driver's licence to operate a boat in Toronto Harbour and Hamilton Harbour. Get these from the port authority in each city.

Seen on Dallas Clique @_dallasclique_
It?s okay to fail. Failure is the only pathway to success. Look at Spongebob, he failed boating school how many times??? I?m like 90% certain he has his license now.

Proof of Competency

  1. Proof of competency can be a Pleasure Craft Operator Card; proof of successful completion of a boating safety course in Canada prior to April 1, 1999; or a completed rental-boat safety checklist.
  2. Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) will be the most common way boaters will prove competency. The PCOC can be obtained from a "federally approved agency". You take a boating safety course, pass a short test, then pay a fee for your card. You have to pass a multiple choice exam of 36 questions with at least 27 (75%) correct answers about boating regulations, marine emergencies, operating a boat, and terminology. The card is good for life. You can study on your own, take classroom instruction, or "challenge" the test from one of the accredited test provider. If you take the test online (right), you must have a ?proctor? register to confirm proper supervision during the test. Boating Safety Accredited Courses are authorized by the federal Office of?Boating?Safety and given by accredited private companies.
  3. Boat Rental operators will be given a dockside test to replace the requirement for a PCOC. If you rent a cottage that comes with a fishing boat or a charter boat with a dinghy, call the Office?of?Boating?Safety to see if a card is required.
  4. Visiting or non-resident boaters will be exempt if their stay is shorter than 45 days. Operator card issued by your state or country will be considered as proof of competency. NASBLA issued cards are recognized for U.S. citizens. (All 16 U.S. states along the Canadian border either have mandatory boater education programs in place or being phased in.)