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Transport Canada–Approved Boater Safety Course for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card.® is a delegated provider for Transport Canada.

Transport Canada–Approved Boater Safety Course for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card.® is a delegated provider for Transport Canada.

Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card
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Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card

Get your Canada Boating License in
4 Easy Steps

Take your BOATERexam® course and be certified for life!

Step 1

est. 2–3 mins

Sign Up

Sign up for a Boaterexam® account, pay for the official course, and get started. It only takes a few minutes.

Step 2

est. 3–4 hrs

Study & Pass the Online Course

Take the course on desktop, tablet or mobile. We automatically save your progress so you can learn at your own pace.

Step 3

est. 1–5 mins

Print Your Temporary Card Immediately

Pass the online exam and print your temporary Pleasure Craft Operator Card immediately.

Step 4

est. 0 mins

Go Boating!

Hit the water! You're all set to legally operate a boat.

Over 2,000,000 boating students certified and counting: has a TrustPilot rating of 4.7 out of 5 based on 17707 ratings and reviews.

Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card

Who needs a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) in Canada?

Anyone operating a motorized pleasure craft in Canada is required to obtain proof of education from a Transport Canada–approved course.

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Over 17 Years; Transport Canada Approved

Transport Canada Approved,
Trusted Nationwide® is Canada's most trusted provider of boating safety education and a Transport Canada approved course. Our boating license certification course is trusted by Canadians and recognized by over 50 U.S. States.

This official Canada boating safety course is approved by Transport Canada.

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Canadian Boating Council
Coast Guard
Official Boating Educator
Boating safety course on a laptop, ipad and iphone

You control your
learning experience

From laptop to mobile phone, choose when and where you complete your course.

Boating safety course on a laptop, ipad and iphone

You control your
learning experience

From laptop to mobile phone, choose when and where you complete
your course.

Boating safety course on a laptop, ipad and iphone
person looking at screens of the illustrated boating safety course

Illustrated questions

We found out a long time ago that people learn best when they can see what they're learning.

Shouldn't you be tested the same way? We think so. We illustrate every one of our quiz questions to help you get your boating licence.

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Hundreds of engaging videos

Engaging videos® takes you out of the textbook and into the captain's seat.

Our course features tons of dynamic content, including hundreds of interactive and narrated animations. That means you aren't just reading your boating exam, you're listening, watching and engaging — which means you'll learn more, be a smarter boater and have more fun.

Boating in Canada

With 202,080 km of coastline, Canada touts the longest coastline in the world. The Pacific Ocean sits to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Great Lakes to the south. Canada is also home to over 31,752 lakes larger than three square miles, the boating options are truly endless in Canada.

Look for the best places to boat in: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Yukon.

To operate a personal watercraft in Canada, you need a license called a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). To get your PCOC, you’ll need to take a boater education course approved by Transport Canada, such as BOATERexam. This course will help you understand your personal watercraft and stay safe on the water. 

In addition to having a PCOC, there are some additional laws and regulations that you must learn and abide by while operating a PWC in Canada.

Wear a lifejacket

Canadian law requires everyone on board a PWC to wear a lifejacket or a personal floatation device. Be proactive and make sure you bring enough lifejackets for yourself and any passengers you may have.

Follow local regulations

Keep in mind that each region has its own speed limit, rules and regulations for PWC operators. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the law where you’ll be operating.

Stay alert

While operating a PWC, it’s important to keep a close eye on other boats and obstacles, including swimmers. It’s also essential to be aware of changing weather conditions.

We’re sure you’re excited to get out on the water, but before you get started, it’s important to know that anyone operating a motorized craft on Canadian waters must successfully complete a Transport Canada–approved boater safety course and obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

Now that you’re ready for the water, here are some of our top recommendations:

Haida Gwaii

Located off the coast of British Columbia, this remote archipelago is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Canada. Haida Gwaii’s many islands and fishing villages provide the perfect opportunity for exploring, as well as unmatched whale, sea lion and dolphin watching.

The Great Lakes

With stunning scenery and plenty of marinas and launch points, the five Great Lakes – Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario – offer some of the best freshwater boating in the world. With the lakes holding 84% of the surface water of North America, you won’t run out of space for watersports.

The Rideau Canal

Connecting Ottawa to Kingston, the Rideau Canal is a historic waterway that offers a plethora of locks, quaint towns, and beautiful landscapes for boaters to explore. The only remaining slackwater canal from the 19th century, Rideau offers unparalleled views of historic structures.

Okanagan Lake

Located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, with the city of Vernon at its north end, Penticton in the south, and Kelowna on its eastern shore, Okanagan Lake is known for stunning mountain and vineyard views. The region’s history and scenery make Okanagan Lake a great place to spend an afternoon – or a week.

Before getting on the water, always prioritize safety and be prepared by bringing all the proper equipment. Don’t forget lifejackets, communication devices, and any other safety equipment that’s required where you’re going. Finally, be sure to check weather and water conditions, as well as local regulations.

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Canada Frequently Asked Boating Questions

Below are some common questions about safe boating rules & regulations.


What is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)?


The PCOC is proof of competency that shows boaters understand how to operate a boat safely. This is achieved through taking the boater safety course online or in person and passing the final exam.


Do I need to have a drivers license to get a Pleasure Craft Operators Card?


No, 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.


What is proof of operator competency in Canada?


Proof of operator competency can take one of three forms:

  1. A Pleasure Craft Operator Card;
  2. Proof of having successfully completed a boating safety course in Canada prior to April 1, 1999; or,
  3. A completed rental-boat safety checklist.

A Pleasure Craft Operator Card is issued following the successful completion of an approved test. This proof of competency is the most common.

If you have taken a boating safety course prior to April 1, 1999, the certificate you obtained is a valid proof of operator competency. However, the certificate must clearly show that the course you took was taken in Canada and prior to April 1, 1999.

If you are renting a pleasure craft fitted with a motor you must complete a rental boat safety checklist. This will be considered your proof of competency and is valid for the duration of the rental period. The rental company will review the checklist with you.


Is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card the same as a Boating Licence?


The PCOC does not expire and therefore is not called a licence. Only a PCOC is required to legally operate a motor-powered boat on Canadian waters.


How long is the Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card good for?


The Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card is good for life.


How long will it take for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card to arrive after I’ve passed the exam?


Your permanent Pleasure Craft Operator Card will take between 2-3 weeks to arrive. A Temporary Temporary Pleasure Craft Operator Card can be printed and used while you wait for the permanent card to arrive.


Is the card good for life?


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


How do I replace my Pleasure Craft Operator Card Card if I’ve lost it or it has been damaged?


You can order a replacement card by clicking Lost your card? in the top menu or by contacting us at 1-866-688-2628 to order another card.


In which province is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card valid?


The card is valid in each province.


Is there a minimum age requirement to receive the Pleasure Craft Operator Card?


There is no minimum age requirement to take this online course.


Do I have to be a Canadian resident to get a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?


No. There is no residency requirement for obtaining a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.


How long does the course take?


The course is formatted to be a minimum 3 hours for study time.


What happens if I don't pass the final exam?


If you are unable to pass the final exam on your first attempt, you may retry the exam once again for free in 24 hours. If you are unable to pass the final exam a second time, you will then need to retake the entire online course before retrying the final exam again.
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