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Canadian boating license & Online boater test
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Pleasure Craft Operator Card

How can I get my PCOC?

To obtain a boating card, you must pass an accredited test. The first step is to follow the mandatory study on the internet for a minimum of 3 hours, and then pass the Transport Canada test.

It's $49.95 + taxes for the online course, the final test and the card valid for life.

  

How do I replace my boating card if I lost it?

  • First you can contact us at 1-800-607-2329 for a replacement card or write us an email at info@aceboater.com to see if you had obtained the card with our school
  • Or if you are sure that you wrote the exam or obtained your card through Aceboater.com, you can order it online by filling out the form.

  

Since when has the pleasure craft operator card been mandatory?

The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations have required operators of pleasure craft fitted with a motor and used for recreational purposes to have proof of competency on board at all times since september 2009. The PCOC is valid for life.

* These requirements apply in areas outside the Northwest and Nunavut Territories at this time.

** Applies to non-residents operating their pleasure craft in Canadian waters after 44 consecutive days. Operator cards or equivalents issued to a non-resident by their state or country will be considered as proof of competency.

  

What is the minimum age for kids to write the boating exam?

There is really no minimum age. As long as children can read and understand the exam, they are allowed to write it. We do not recommend that children or young adults challenge the exam without taking a classroom course or home study course first.

  

Do I need it to operate a non-powered pleasure craft?

No. The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations only apply to pleasure craft fitted with a motor.

kayak

Do I need to take an exam to obtain my card?

Yes, you have to do the official Transport Canada exam to obtain your card.

  

Do I need a pleasure craft operator card to paddle a pleasure craft fitted with a motor when the motor is turned off?

Yes, you must have proof of competency, including the boating card, if you have an engine on board the boat, even if not in use.

Do the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations apply to non-residents?

The Regulations apply to non-residents if:

  • They operate their pleasure craft in Canadian waters for more than 44 consecutive days or,
  • They operate a pleasure craft that is licensed or registered in Canada (including rented or chartered boats).

The Regulations do not apply to non-residents who operate their pleasure craft (licensed in a country other than Canada) in Canadian waters for less than 45 consecutive days. Please note that a proof of residence will be required on board at all times.

For non-residents, proof of competency can take one of three forms:

  • A Canadian-issued pleasure craft operator card.
  • A completed boat rental safety check-list (for power-driven rental boats).
  • An operator card or equivalent that meets the requirements of their state or country.

  

Do I need a PCOC if I operate a small boat in relation to my work?

The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations only apply to operators of pleasure craft (boats used for recreational purposes). If you use your boat for commercial purposes, you are not required to have proof of competency like the boating card.

Do I need a pleasure craft operator card to operate a sailboat?

sailboat

You need proof of competency if the sailboat is fitted with an auxiliary motor, even when under sail.

  

If my child is 11 years old and drives a boat of less than 10 HP (under my direct supervision) does the child still need the card?

minimum age to drive a motor boat

Yes. The age-horsepower restrictions were developed under the Boating Restriction Regulations and aren't affected, or superseded, by the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations. The two are entirely separate regulations and their respective requirements should be looked at separately to avoid confusion. 

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 OntarioQuebecBritish Columbia(BC), AlbertaManitobaNova ScotiaNew BrunswickPEISaskatchewan or Newfoundland, the card is legal across the country.

Can the pleasure craft operator card be revoked or suspended?

suspended

No. Unlike a driver's license, it can not be revoked and it is good for life. This is not a driver's license on the water, but an attestation that you have studied in boating safety.

Where can I find a pleasure craft operator card practice test? 

Find a practice test here, that will help you successfully obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

  

Do the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations apply to aboriginals?

While the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations apply to aboriginals, the Regulations do not apply in situations where the craft is used for daily living or subsistence activities (such as hunting and fishing for the purpose of subsistence). However, most aboriginals that use a boat for subsistence activities also use it for recreational purposes on occasion. As such, it is recommended everyone have proof of competency. To remove ambiguity, the Regulations state that application is limited to pleasure craft used for recreational purposes.

The first chapter of our online boating course is free, register now!