Alberta Boating Laws & Regulations
Alberta Pleasure Craft operator card (PCOC)
Can I operate a boat without a boating license in Alberta?
No, as of September 2009 all boaters are required to have the Pleasure Craft Operator Card in order to operate a powered watercraft. There is no grandfather clause or age exemption – this law applies to all boaters. Powered watercraft includes watercraft fitted with any size motor, even an electric trolling motor.
Youth under 16 years of age may not operate boats with motors over certain horsepower limits unless someone 16 years of age or older is in the boat and directly supervising them. Youth under 16 years of age may not operate a personal watercraft (PWC) under any circumstances.
Operators must recognize that certain behaviors constitute criminal offences that are punishable (could lead to fines or possible imprisonment). The following offences are also in violation of the Criminal Code of Canada (Contraventions Act):
Alberta Speed Limits while boating
Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that you can take proper and appropriate action to avoid collision, and be able to stop in a safe distance, and appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
Boat registration in Alberta
You can either “license” or “register” your pleasure craft. A “licensed” pleasure craft is different from a “registered” pleasure craft.
Although there are costs involved, registration gives you some important benefits, which include a proof of ownership (legal title) for your boat, the right to fly the Canadian flag, a unique name, and official number for your boat, as well as the right to use your boat as security for a marine mortgage.
Alberta Boat Safety Equipment
Safety equipment that each type of boat must carry on board to comply with Transport Canada regulations regarding boating.