Pleasure Craft Operator Card

The Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), commonly known as the boating license, is a mandatory certification for individuals operating a pleasure craft with a motor. This includes boats, jet skis, and other watercraft powered by engines.

Posted on July 28, 2014 | Updated on January 16, 2024

Canada’s vast and picturesque waterways offer a haven for boating enthusiasts seeking adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re navigating the serene lakes of the Canadian Shield or exploring the rugged coastline of the Atlantic provinces, one thing remains constant – the need for responsible boating. The PCOC is a crucial element of this responsibility, ensuring the safety of both boaters and the environment. In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of the PCOC, its requirements, and the process of obtaining this mandatory licence.

Who needs a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

As of September 15, 2009, all boaters were required to have the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) 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. Not having the required Pleasure Craft Operator Card or proof of competency on board carries a fine of $250 (not including administrative charges). Proof of Competency is not required in the waters of Nunavut and Northwest Territories at this time.

The primary objective of the PCOC is to promote safe and responsible boating practices across Canadian waters.

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How do I get a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

You can get the card by taking a boating safety course in-person or online, and passing the test at the end of the course. Training and testing for this card is only available through Transport Canada accredited course providers. The first step is finding an accredited course provider in your area.

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