May 20 to 26 is Safe Boating Awareness Week in Canada. There is no better time than now to get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). And there is no better place to get your official Transport Canada PCOC than at (for only $24.95 for the course, the exam, and the card until June 25).


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Frequently asked questions

What is a boating licence?

In all provinces of Canada, the terms "boating licence", "boat operator card", and "boater card" always refer to the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). A PCOC is the same size and thickness and is made of the same material as a credit card and it looks like this:

Why am I required to carry a PCOC when operating a powered watercraft?

Approximately 200 boating fatalities (and as many as 6,000 non-fatal accidents) occur annually on Canadian waters. The Pleasure Craft Operator Card program was introduced more than two decades ago in an attempt to reduce the number of boating-related injuries and fatalities. And it is working; since the implementation of the program, boating fatalities in Canada have declined steadily.

Who has to carry a PCOC?

All persons regardless of age or nationality must carry a Pleasure Craft Operator Card when operating a powered watercraft on any Canadian waters. The term "powered watercraft" includes watercraft fitted with any type or size of motor (even an electric trolling motor).

The PCOC is mandatory in all provinces in Canada. Failure to carry a PCOC on you when operating a power-driven pleasure craft in Canada will result in a fine of $250 (plus administration charges).

How can I get my PCOC?

The most common way to get a PCOC is to complete a Transport Canada-accredited PCOC course followed by the official PCOC exam.

In Canada, PCOCs are issued by course providers that have been accredited by Transport Canada to offer the PCOC course in preparation for an official PCOC exam. Click here to see Transport Canada’s official list of accredited PCOC course providers.

Are all PCOC courses the same?

All PCOC courses are written to comply with the same Transport Canada course syllabus. As a result, the content of the various PCOC courses is the same.

However, the prices charged for a PCOC program (PCOC course, PCOC exam, and official PCOC) can be as high as $49.95. Whereas, charges only $24.95 for everything (official PCOC course, official PCOC exam, and official permanent PCOC).

If all PCOC courses are so similar, why do their prices differ?

Some course providers have very high profit margins as well as very high overhead costs (for instance, many spend heavily to advertise in traditional media, on social media, on online search engines, and in other marketing channels). We, on the other hand, have slim profit margins and lower overhead costs and we pass the savings on to our clients.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions on all aspects of Canadian PCOC regulations. If you have a question that should be added to this list, please send it to:

What is the fine for operating a powered watercraft without a PCOC?
Is there an age exemption for the PCOC?
How are boating safety regulations enforced?
Do I need a PCOC to operate a sailboat?
In which provinces is the PCOC valid?
What is the difference between a Pleasure Craft Operator Card and a Pleasure Craft License?
How do I get a Pleasure Craft License for my boat?
How do I use a Pleasure Craft License?
Do I need a driver's permit to operate a watercraft?
What if I do not live in Canada?
Are there horsepower restrictions for children?
Do I need a PCOC to rent a powered watercraft?