Your Boater License Information
How to Get Your Boater License
The Canadian boater license is called the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) and is issued by Transport Canada, making it valid in every province and territory across the country. In order to obtain your license, you must take an approved boating safety course and exam and pay a small fee. Once you obtain your license in the mail, it will be valid for your lifetime.
Canada’s top issuer of the PCOC is BoaterExam.com®, who also offer the most convenient way to acquire your boater license. You can take the exam and the course entirely online, guided by full narration and detailed animations. The exam is open-book multiple-choice, and you must get a score of 75% in order to pass, with free re-tries. No supervisor is required for this test, and upon successful completion you can print out a temporary license while you wait for your permanent license to arrive in the mail.
Classroom Boating License Course and Exam Information
Boater licensing is now a reality in Canada. If you operate a powered watercraft you need to get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (commonly referred to as a boating license). This is regardless of your age, the size of your boat, or the size of the engine — if it floats and has an engine (even a canoe with a trolling motor) then you need the license!
If you prefer to take the boater license course in-person from an experienced boating safety instructor, there are locations available all across Canada to do this. Whether you are a novice or seasoned boater, you will learn up-to-date boating safety guidelines and after successfully completing the course and exam, you’ll obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
Classroom courses are offered across the country, but it is sometimes difficult to find a date in your city, especially if you live in a small town. Classroom courses are usually about $70.00 and usually include a printed manual as well as 3 hours of in person instruction followed by the Transport Canada exam.
Topics covered include:
- Applicable laws
- Navigational aids
- Licensing & Markings
- Preparing for trips
- Distress signals
- Equipment & Maintenance
- Avoiding collisions
Challenge the Boating License Test at a Boat Show or Special Event
If you live in Toronto or Calgary, then you can visit your local Bass Pro store and challenge the exam there. Otherwise, keep your eyes open for Boat shows in your area where you may be allowed to try the test in a Pay Only When You Pass scenario. Be warned, however, that challenging the test if you have not studied is not a good idea! Either come prepared or take the classroom or online course instead.