Who needs a boating license in Alberta?
All operators of a motorized recreational watercraft used on Canadian waters must show proof of competency like the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). Transport Canada requires a minimum 3 hours of study before you can take the final online exam.
Take our official boating course
Our 6-chapter online boating safety course is the leading platform to obtain your Transport Canada boating license.
Boating safety course introduction
- Most common causes of on-water incidents
- Boating terminology
- Laws and regulations
Rules and Obligations
- Registration and pleasure craft license
- Rules and obligations
- Criminal offences
Required Safety Equipment
- Personal protection equipment
- Boat safety equipment
- Minimum safety equipment to carry
Trip planning and Sharing the Waterways
- Boating trips
- Collision regulations
- Courtesy and common sense
Navigation Lights and Aids to Navigation
- Navigation lights
- Recognizing vessels by their lights
- Buoys ans beacons
Prevention of Emergency Situations
- Weather and Water Condition
- Hypothermia, heat stroke, etc.
- React to emergency situations
Crystal clear. Our team works hard to develop intuitive and effective training. No endless reading, interactive learning is the key to success!
Take the boating exam
After the boating safety course, you will be all set to take the official Transport Canada boating exam. We have created a practice boating exam to test your knowledge!
Print your temporary boating license and go boating NOW!
Once you have successfully completed your Transport Canada final exam, print your temporary boating license right away and go boating in Alberta or any other Canadian province!
More boaters, more savings
We want to facilitate access to our boating safety course for groups and families. The more you are, the less you pay!
A complete 3-hour course… well organized in 6 chapters
- Study at your pace
- The card is valid for life
- Exam retries are free
More than 500 000 boaters have trusted us
Ace Boater is the best way to get your boating license and to have the freedom to go boating when you want, by yourself or with friends and family!
Made by passionate people
We wanted to create the most interactive and user-friendly online pleasure craft training platform for you. Our goal: to provide a clear, comprehensive and fun boater safety course, so that you can get on with the theory and go boating... NOW!
You may ask
- What is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)?
Commonly referred to as a boating license. A PCOC is proof of competency which is required in Canada to operate a boat with a motor. The PCOC is proof that the boater has completed an online or in person course and has successfully passed the Transport Canada final exam.
- Is the Transport Canada boating license mandatory in Alberta?
Yes. The rule to qualify for the Canadian boating license (Pleasure Craft Operator Card) applies to all motorized watercraft throughout Canada, regardless of the length of the watercraft and the type and power of the motor used. You must have the card even while using an electric motor. Start the course!
- Is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card good anywhere in Canada?
Yes, the same card is issued for all the provinces and territories in Canada. Whether you're boating in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia(BC), Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, Saskatchewan or Newfoundland, the card is legal across the country.
- Do I need a boat license to operate a boat with an electric motor in Alberta?
Yes. All boaters must have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card to operate any powered watercraft. This law applies to all boaters, there are no exemptions. "Powered watercraft" means a watercraft fitted with any size motor, even an electric trolling motor.
- How much does the boating license cost in Alberta?
The cost of the boating license online safety course is only $49.99 plus taxes. This includes study time, the final Transport Canada exam and mailing of your first boating license.
- At what age can I get my boat license in Alberta?
There is no minimum age requirement for the boat license, but certain restrictions apply to operate a watercraft according to your age. You only need to pass the final exam.
- Does a pleasure craft operator card expire?
No, your Pleasure Craft Operator Card is valid for life and never needs to be renewed.
- Is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card the same as a Boating License?
A pleasure craft operators card is considered as proof of competency proving the boater has completed a boating safety course and has the knowledge required to operate a vessel safely and understands the rules and regulations of navigating on Canadian waters. A pleasure craft licence or registration is a unique number the owner must display on the bow of the vessel. It is mandatory for all pleasure crafts equipped with motors of 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) or more.
- How can I replace a lost or broken pleasure craft operator card?
Before we can replace a lost or damaged Pleasure Craft Operator Card we must be sure that we originally issued it to you. Check with us by calling our toll-free number at 1-800-607-2329 to talk to an agent, or you can fill in the lost card form on our website and we will contact you by email within 24 hours, during our office hours.
If you took your online course with AceBoater.com, log into your profile and click on "Order Replacement Cards".
- Do I need to have an Alberta driver’s license to get a Boaters Card?
No, a drivers license is not required to obtain the Pleasure Craft Operators Card. However to operate a watercraft you must carry your Pleasure Craft Operator Card on board with you.
- Do you have to carry your card on you at all times?
Yes, all operators are required to carry the PCOC on board and have it readily available for inspection by law enforcement when operating a vessel.
- Do I have to be a Canadian resident to get a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?
For non-residents, proof of competency can take one of three forms: A Pleasure Craft Operator Card; A completed boat rental safety checklist (for power-driven rental boats); or, An operator card or equivalent which meets the requirements of their state or country.
- How long is the boating safety course for Alberta?
Transport Canada requires 3 hours of study. At Ace Boater we have developed a training program to make your study time virtually interactive and pleasant.
- Where to navigate in Alberta?
Alberta is a wonderful place for boaters, however you like to enjoy the water. With 16,800 square kilometres of lakes, rivers and streams, and a continental climate, Alberta is an essential destination for holders of Canada’s Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), commonly known as a “boating license”.
Alberta is home to glacial lakes, shallow lakes, kettle lakes, and large lakes with stunning sandy beaches that entice nature-lovers and adventurers from around the world.
Whether you fancy sailing on Pigeon Lake, water skiing on Elkwater Lake in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, windsurfing on Lake Newell, cruising the waters of Lake Claire, fishing in Garner Lake, or participating in the annual Jet Boat Poker Rally on the Athabasca River, there is something for everyone in Alberta.
Starting in the magnificent Canadian Rocky Mountains, you can glide along the Bow River’s glacial waters and marvel at the scenery and wildlife as you wind through the Alberta foothills.
Located between Calgary and Medicine Hat, the huge Lake Newell—the largest and warmest man-made lake in Alberta—hosts a variety of water sports and all types of boats are allowed. Camp at the stunning Kinbrook Island Provincial Park to wake up next to the water and go fishing right away.
At Garner Lake, you can take in the scenery from your canoe, or get your pulse racing with tubing or waterskiing. For sailing enthusiasts, Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary offers strong winds and a technical challenge.
- How long is the Alberta boating safety course?
- Transport Canada requires 3 hours of study. At Ace Boater we have developed a training program to make your study time virtually interactive and pleasant.
- What happens if I fail the boating exam?
If you do not pass the final exam on your first attempt, you will have one more chance to retake the exam after 24 hours.
If you are unable to pass the final exam a second time, you will be required to retake the course at no extra charge. This is a standard set by Transport Canada to ensure all students fully understand the laws and regulations of boating in Canada.
- How long does it take to get the boating license?
The boating safety course takes on average 3-5 hours to complete, so it really only takes a few hours to obtain the temporary certification and begin legally boating anywhere in Canada.
Your permanent Pleasure Craft Operators Card will by mail within a few weeks.
- How difficult is the Transport Canada boating exam?
Not very difficult! We teach you everything you need to know during the course to prepare you for the exam.
Our quiz's also help you retain the important information you will need to pass the final exam.
The exam will consist of 50 multiple choice questions and you will need at least 75% to pass.
Plus the exam is open book so you can even use our study guide to help you pass.
- I want to operate a boat in Alberta. How do I get the Alberta boating license?
Its easy take our official aceboater boating safety course!
- What if I go boating in another province?
No problem, the Pleasure Craft Operators card is valid in every Canadian Province as well as our neighboring American States.
- What is proof of operator competency in Canada?
In Canada, if you operate a boat with a motor and use it for recreation, you need proof of competency — something that shows you have a basic understanding of how to operate your boat safely and know what to do in an emergency. Proof of competency is required with all motor types (including electric trolling motors) and even when the motor is not in use (such as when sailing).
A variety of documents may serve as proof of competency:
Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)
Note: A paper or electronic copy of a PCOC is NOT acceptable.
Certificate from a Canadian boating safety course completed before April 1, 1999 (when the current regulation came into effect)
professional marine certificate or equivalent
completed Rental Boat Safety Checklist good only for the rental period
for a visitor to Canada, an operator card or other document that meets the requirements of his or her home state or country
Proof of competency is not required in the following situations:
the boat is being operated in the waters of Nunavut or the Northwest Territories
a visitor to Canada is operating the boat he or she brought into Canada for less than 45 consecutive days
- What boating safety equipment is required in Alberta?
It all depends on the size of your boat. Aceboater has all this information ready for you in our safety equipment page.