Get Your Boat Operator License in Canada

Boat Operator License in Canada

When you buy a boat, the first thing you will want to do is get it in the water. This is perfectly understandable. After all, it may have taken months–or even years–of saving money and budgeting before you were finally able to purchase the vessel of your dreams. Additionally, you probably had to do quite a bit of research to find the boat that suits your needs and interests. That in itself is no minor task since there is what feels like an endless variety of different makes and models available on the boating marketplace. Still, once you found what you were looking for and made a reasonable offer, you and the seller completed the transaction and you found yourself holding the keys to your brand-new boat. Before you are all clear to head out and make waves, though, you may need to process some paperwork with Transport Canada. Whether this calls for applying for a pleasure craft license (PCL), a vessel registration, or a boat operator license in Canada, you will want to make sure that you are current on all your documentation before you leave the dock. Luckily, we can help.

As you no doubt realize, buying a boat is a significant investment. On the high end, there is no ceiling to how much a boat can cost, especially in the realm of luxury yachts. Even for the average boater, a modest vessel can cost about as much as a used car. The reason for this is that boats can be complex pieces of machinery, often using high-powered motors. Since motorized vessels can reach high speeds, they can be quite dangerous when operated incorrectly. With this in mind, Transport Canada issues licenses to boaters to demonstrate that they have a fundamental knowledge of how to safely operate a boat. Read on to learn more about this and other documents required by Transport Canada.

What is a Boat Operator License in Canada?

It is helpful to think of a boat operator license as a similar document to a driver’s license, both in what it is and how it is obtained. Officially called a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC), a boating license will serve as proof that you know what you are doing when you head out to sea. Just like with a driver’s license, you can get PCOC by taking an educational course and passing Transport Canada’s requisite exam.

You may also need some documentation for your vessel itself, most commonly in the form of a PCL. PCLs are a firm requirement for any boat with an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more. PCLs are valid for 10 years, and they are available to anyone who wants one. 

Boat Operator License in Canada
Get Your Forms Online

If you need a PCL or a vessel registration, we have online forms that can make the process a breeze. To learn more, take a look around our website, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.