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Boaters Need The Pleasure Craft Operating Card Starting Tuesday

Anyone operating a recreational motorized boat in Canadian waters will need to carry a new Pleasure Craft Operating Card starting this week.

Under new rules from Transport Canada that come into effect on Tuesday, those who are caught driving a motorized watercraft without the Pleasure Craft Operating Card risk being fined $250 or more.

Municipal and provincial police will enforce the new rules.

Boaters must pass a test on topics such as how to share waterways, use safety equipment and respond to emergencies in order to get the card. They will then be required to carry it on board their watercraft at all times.

Private companies are conducting training courses, administering the testing and issuing the operator cards. Transport Canada has posted a list of approved companies on its website.

The test includes 36 multiple-choice questions. Boaters have to answer 75 per cent of the questions correctly to obtain the boat operator's card, which is good for life.

One of the Transport Canada-approved test providers is®. The company charges $39.95 to take the test.

"We are encouraging boaters to get certified now so they are legal, but also so they avoid paying more in the future as the price will likely increase," Robert Dupel, a company representative, wrote in a press release.

Experts believe less than half of Canada's 10 million recreational boaters have obtained the Pleasure Craft Operator Card, as of last week. News