Card (PCOC) for Operators

Table of contents

Who needs a card for an operator? Will boaters who have already completed a course in boating safety be required to take another one or pass a test? What should I do if I lose my Pleasure Craft Operator Card? How can I get a card for a pleasure craft operator? Do I need to show that

Who needs a card for an operator?

Will boaters who have already completed a course in boating safety be required to take another one or pass a test?

What should I do if I lose my Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

How can I get a card for a pleasure craft operator?

Do I need to show that I have the necessary skills to operate a non-powered pleasure craft?

Do I need to show evidence of my ability to paddle a pleasure craft equipped with a motor when the motor is off?

Do I need to show proof of my ability to sail a boat?

Do Indigenous peoples fall under the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations?

Do non-residents have to abide by the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations?

What kind of competency documentation is acceptable for non-residents?

Courses

Do I have to enroll in a course before taking the test?

Why should you take a boating safety course?

What topics do courses cover?

What choices do I have?

What should I do if my certificate doesn't list a completion date and I received my training before April 1, 1999?

Will my certificate work as exchange for a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

If I have a Marine Safety Certificate, can I get a PCOC?

Do you accept a certificate from a boating safety course I took in the United States in 1980 as evidence of my competence?

Can I retake the exam if I don't pass it?

Are there any fees for courses or exams that go to the federal government?

Who needs a card for an operator?

Anyone who operates a power-driven boat must possess proof of competency, which demonstrates that they are aware of the fundamental laws and know how to sail a boat safely. The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is the most typical certification of proficiency. By completing a boating safety course in person or online and passing the final exam, you can obtain the card.

*At this time, the waters of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories do not require proof of competency.

Will boaters who have already completed a course in boating safety be required to take another one?

Before April 1, 1999, those who completed a boating safety course weren't required to take another one or pass a test. The pleasure craft must be equipped with a copy of a certificate or card issued at the conclusion of a course taken before April 1, 1999.

What should I do if my Pleasure Craft Operator Card is lost?

Your Pleasure Craft Operator Card needs to be replaced.

Lifetime validity of a Pleasure Craft Operator Card

You must get in touch with the organization that issued your Pleasure Craft Operator Card if you need to replace one that was lost or damaged.

Please be aware:

  1. Replacement cards can only be produced by organizations that are currently accredited.
  2. Pleasure Craft Operator Cards can be replaced for a fee paid to the course provider.

If any of the following applies to you:

  • You don't know who provided your initial course,
  • the training provider has ceased operations, or
  • The trainer has been expelled

Simply dial 1-800-267-6687 to reach the Boating Safety Infoline.

A representative will find your information in a national database of cardholders and instruct you on what to do next.

What steps must I take to get a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is the most typical certification of proficiency. By completing a boating safety course in person or online and passing the final exam, you can obtain the card. Only those course providers with accreditation from Transport Canada may provide training and testing for this card. Finding a local, accredited training provider is the first step.

I want to operate a non-powered pleasure craft. Do I need proof of competence?

No Only pleasure craft equipped with a motor are subject to the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations.

Do I need to show evidence of my ability to paddle a pleasure craft equipped with a motor when the motor is off?

Yes

Do I need to show evidence of my ability to operate a sailboat?

Even when sailing, a sailboat equipped with an auxiliary motor requires proof of competency.

Indigenous peoples are subject to the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations?

While Indigenous peoples are subject to the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations, the Regulations do not apply when the craft is used for daily living or subsistence activities (such as subsistence hunting and fishing). However, the majority of Indigenous peoples who use boats for subsistence purposes occasionally also use them for recreational activities. Therefore, it is advised that everyone possess proof of competence. The Regulations specify that only pleasure craft used for recreational purposes are eligible for application in order to clear up any confusion.

Are non-residents subject to the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations?

If any of the following applies to a non-resident:

  • They sail their recreational vessel for more than 44 days straight in Canadian waters, or
  • They drive a recreational vessel that is registered or licensed in Canada, including rented or chartered vessels.

Non-residents who use their pleasure craft—licensed in a nation other than Canada—in Canadian waters for fewer than 45 days straight are exempt from the Regulations. Please be aware that a valid proof of residence will always be needed on board.

Visit the Requirements for Foreign Recreational Boaters in Canadian Waters page for more details on how Canadian regulations affect non-residents.

What qualifies as valid identification for non-residents

There are three different ways for non-residents to demonstrate their competency:

  1. A card for a pleasure craft operator;
  2. A finished copy of the boat rental safety checklist (for motorized rental boats);
  3. An operator card or equivalent that satisfies their state's or country's requirements

Do I need to take a course before taking the test?

No You may attempt the test even though we strongly advise everyone to take a course on boating safety.

Important Information: Online testing for boating safety cannot be challenged. You must make plans to take the exam in person and under the close supervision of a training facility that has received accreditation from Transport Canada.

Why take a course in boating safety

  • To enhance the environment for boating and the safety of all boaters
  • In order to obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card as required by law
  • To become aware of your accountability
  • To ensure that everyone's boating experience is enjoyable

What a course will cover

The course covers a wide range of fundamental boating knowledge, including:

  • the bare minimum of safety gear that must be aboard your boat;
  • the system of Canadian buoys;
  • the sharing of waterways;
  • a review of all applicable laws;
  • as well as what to do in an emergency

What choices do I have?

Take the course in person, via correspondence, or online. You can also buy a study guide from a recognized training company, do your own research, and then take the exam.

What should I do if I completed training before April 1, 1999, but there is no completion date listed on my certificate?

If the organization that issued the certificate is still in business, you can get in touch with them to get a new certificate with the correct completion date. If not, you must acquire a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

Is it possible to convert my certificate into a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

No The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is a document issued by the organization that administers an accredited test to a person who has passed the test, according to the Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations (see exception below). Consequently, a card cannot be issued without passing a recognized test.

If I have a Marine Safety Certificate, can I get a PCOC?

According to the Competency of Pleasure Craft Regulations, any person who possesses a certificate or equivalent listed on the List of Certificates of Competency, Training Certificates, and other Equivalencies is qualified to operate a pleasure craft. A holder of such a certificate or equivalent must only bring their certificate or equivalent (or a copy of it), along with identification, on board their pleasure craft.

I completed a boating safety course in the US in 1980, and I still have my certificate. Is it valid evidence of competence?

No The training must be completed in Canada.

Can I retake the exam if I don't pass it?

The test can be retaken as often as necessary, but if you don't pass the first time, it's highly advised that you enroll in a course. The test can only be taken once every 24 hours.

Are tuition fees for courses or exams paid to the federal government

There is no money collected for the federal government because private companies handle all course administration, testing, and card issuance.

Important Fees Reminder: Course providers determine all costs for courses, exams, and card replacement services. The cost of these services varies depending on the course provider.

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