Pleasure Craft Operator Card

Beginning April 15, 2011, boaters taking their Pleasure Craft Operators Card test online must first pass a three hour online boating course, successfully passing questions for each learning module before proceeding to the final exam.  The final exam increases from 36 to 50 questions.

The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations which fall within the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 require operators of pleasure craft in Canada, fitted with a motor and used for recreational purposes, to have proof of competency on board with them at all times. The regulation applies to sailboats that are fitted with auxiliary motors and to personal watercraft, not just to motorboats.

A fine ($250, in the form of a ticket) can be levied by a law enforcement officer upon an operator who fails to show proof of competency (as prescribed within the federal Contraventions Regulations / Contraventions Act).

Since September 15, 2009 all persons operating a pleasure craft that is fitted with a motor require proof of operator competency, regardless of that person's age, the size of the pleasure craft, or the size of the motor.

If you've lost your PCOC, don't get in a boat until you've replaced it.  For more information on replacing a lost card, click here.

Age and Horsepower Restrictions

This applies to operators of pleasure craft fitted with a motor and used for recreational purposes

Operator Age                                                              Horsepower Restrictions


Under 12 years of age  with no direct supervision       May operate a boat with up to 10 hp (7.5 kW)

Ages 12 to under 16 with no direct supervision           May operate a boat with  up to 40 hp (30 kW)

Under 16 years of age, regardless of supervision       May not operate a Personal Watercraft 

16 Years of Age or Older                                             No Horsepower Restrictions

*Direct supervision means a person (16 years of age or older) is in the boat and directly supervising the operator


When heading out in your motorized boat, make sure to bring on board:

*Proof of Competency

*Personal Identification

*Pleasure craft license (for 10hp or more)


Related Links

Canadian Coast Guard 

Transport Canada | Safe Boating Guide