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Discover Ontario Boating!

From wakeboarding in Muskoka to powerboating and sailing in Gananoque. From pleasure boating at the cottage to angling in Northern Ontario. From the majestic Great Lakes to rivers and streams too numerous to count. It doesn’t get much better than boating in Ontario.

But before you head out to experience the variety and beauty of Ottawa’s waterways, make sure you’re covered by having a Pleasure Craft Operator Card onboard. Keep reading to find out about Ontario boating regulations.

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Ontario Boating Regulations

Do you need a boating license in Ontario? If you you operate a boat with a motor, then the answer is yes. As of September 15, 2009 all boaters operating in Ontario waters – and right across Canada – are required to have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, often called a Boating License, onboard in order to operate a powered watercraft.

This is a federal law that applies in Ontario and all other Canadian provinces. Powered watercraft includes any vessel fitted with any size motor — even an electric trolling motor!

There are two easy methods for you to get the required certification:

1. Online Course and Exam

Take your exam on the internet. You can take this online course, which is followed by a Transport Canada online final test. In approximately 3 hours, you can have your Boating License.

2. Challenge Exam

Students can challenge the Transport Canada test in person at recognized boat shows and events across Canada, such as the Toronto International Boat Show or at Bass Pro Shops in Vaughan Mills.

Over 1 million certified and counting … and here's what they're saying:

Boat License Tip

Get fitted up for an Ontario angling adventure at Bass Pro Shops in Vaughan Mills and while you’re there, take your boat license exam. It’s one of the most convenient ways to get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

Here are some other places you can take your Ontario boating exam:

  • The Toronto International Boat Show

Convinced? Get certified today!

Get your Ontario boat license online.

Ontario Boating License or Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

If you are looking for an Ontario Boating License, then you’ve come to the right place. What many people call a boating license is officially called a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is a federal, rather than provincial, certification that unlike a provincial driver’s license, never needs to be renewed.

Whether you call it an Ontario boating license or a PCOC, you need to carry one onboard if you operate a boat with a motor. Get your PCOC with

Start your Ontario Angling Adventure

Whether you’ve always wanted to try your hand at fishing, or you’re a new angler to Ontario, a great place to start your Ontario angling adventure is with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).

It's the oldest and largest non-profit fish and wildlife conservation organization in the country.


Q. Who needs the Pleasure Craft Operator Card and when?

A. All operators of powered watercraft used for recreational purposes within Canada require the card as of September 15, 2009.

Q. Is there an age exemption clause?

A. No, there is no age exemption – this law applies to all operators, regardless of age.

Q. Is the card good for life?

A. Yes. The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is good for life with no annual fees.

Q. In which provinces is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card valid?

A. The card is valid in each province; Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia (BC), Prince Edward Island (PEI), Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador (NFLD).