Canadian Online Boater Exam – Pleasure Craft Operator Card


Recreational boating is a favourite pastime in Canada with between seven and nine million people enjoying Canadian waterways each year. Sadly, not every boating excursion is a return trip: Over 200 boating fatalities occur each year along with an estimated 6,000 non-fatal accidents – most of them preventable.

The general public and pleasure boaters had expressed concern that anyone of any age could operate a watercraft without having any prior boating experience. The Pleasure Craft Operator Card regulations are an attempt to reduce the number of boating related accidents & fatalities. The goal of the program is to encourage boaters to evaluate their capabilities and limits, to prepare themselves adequately before heading out, and to be responsible on the water.

As of September 15, 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.

A driver’s license is not required to operate a watercraft. You do require your Pleasure Craft Operator Card on board with you while operating a powered watercraft.

Not having the required Pleasure Craft Operator Card or proof of competency on board = a fine of $250 (not including administrative charges).

This card is valid in each province within Canada.

There are three easy steps to get your card:

  1. Study the Online Course
  2. Pass the online course
  3. Print your temporary card

Cost is $49.95, retries are free, and you are certified for life.® is a Transport Canada approved course provider and Canada’s most trusted provider of boating safety courses and exams. More Canadians—more than 2 million of them —have chosen® to get their Pleasure Craft Operator Card. But we’re not only approved in Canada. Our boating license certification is also recognized by over 40 U.S. States.

Learn more at





About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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