Freshwater Species & Regulations
ONTARIO BOATING LICENSE
Ontario Pleasure Craft Operator Card: a.k.a. Boat License
Please Note: Foreign visitors with a pleasure boat in Canada will be granted a grace period of 45 consecutive days.
If you operate any power-driven vessel – even a Personal Water Craft (PWC) – you’ll be required by law to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. You may choose to take a full course, a refresher course or simply challenge the test. For more information see “Regulations” below:
Obtaining A Pleasure Craft Operator Card
The basic requirement is to successfully obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card accredited by Transport Canada- such as the CYA “S*P*A*R*K START” program offered by an Ontario Sailing Member Club, School, Camp or Marina Advisor.(Ontario Sailing Member Organizations)
The power boat operator will then be registered with the Canadian Yachting Association and issued a card. The operator must carry the card whenever operating a boat (much like an automobile driver’s license).
Regulations Age and power restrictions
Under 12, unaccompanied by someone 16 or older, maximum engine power 7.5 kw (10 hp).12 – 15, unaccompanied by someone 16 or older, maximum power 30 kw (40 hp).People under 16 may not operate a personal water craft.Competency regulationsYouth born after April 1, 1983 are NOW required to carry the card.
As of Sept. 15, 2002, anyone operating a powered recreational vessel less than 4 meters (13 feet) in length (including personal water craft) must obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.As of Sept. 15, 2009. All powerboat operators must obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
Previously-taken boating safety courses may be recognized, and experienced boaters may take a challenge test without taking a course. Contact Ontario Sailing or your course provider for more information.Foreign visitors with a pleasure boat in Canada will be granted a grace period of 45 consecutive days.
People renting a vessel must complete a dockside checklist.
Operators must obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card and carry it with them at all times while operating a power boat!
What if I rent a powerboat or PWC?
Currently, a Pleasure Craft Operator Card is not required in order to operate a rented watercraft. Instead, it is sufficient for a renter to complete a rental safety checklist.
You may no longer Grandfather a Pleasure Craft Operator Card
Please see below for a few frequently asked questions from the Transport Canada website.
Will boaters who have previously taken a boating safety course be required to take another course or test?
Those who have taken a boating safety course prior to April 1, 1999 will not be required to take another course or test. A copy of a certificate or a card issued at the completion of courses taken prior to April 1, 1999 will need to be carried on board the pleasure craft.
Can I exchange my certificate for a Pleasure Craft Operator Card
No. The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations cleary state that a Pleasure Craft Operator Card is a document issued to a person by the administrator of an accredited test, to a person that has passed the test. Therefore, a card cannot be issued unless an accredited test has been passed.
What should I do if I receive training prior to April 1, 1999 and my certificate does not show a completion date?
If the course provider that issued the certificate is still in existence, you can contact them to issue you a certificate showing the appropriate completion date. Otherwise, you will need to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.