How Much Does It Cost to Get a Boating License?

Close to 7 million canoeing or kayaking excursions were reported of Canadians travelling domestically between July and September 2021. Therefore, you're not alone when it comes to water relaxation or sailing.

But to operate a boat in Ontario, you need a license. So, what's the cost of a boating license?

A boating license certificate is called a PCOC. This abbreviation literally translates to “Proof of Competency."

Here, we'll provide information on how much it costs to get a boating license and the steps to getting it. Let's get it.

Cost of Obtaining A Boating License in Ontario

Obtaining a boating licence in Canada is contingent upon meeting requirements established by Transport Canada.

In terms of cost, you should expect to pay around CAD 40 to take your boating licence course and exam.

How Does the Boating Licence Course and Exam Go?

There are three simple stages to getting your boating licence:

1.    Online Boating Course

You'll first need to bear the cost of a boating license. And that requires you to make a payment of CAD 49.95 upon registration for the online course. This fulfilment will make you eligible to sit for the official Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Card examination.

After finishing the training, you can easily take the exam as often as you like at no extra cost.

You can finish the required online course and quizzes in your own time. And any level of boating expertise is welcome on this course.


2.    Certification Test for Boating in Ontario

There will be a quick multiple-choice test at the end of each chapter in the material you're provided. If you get 8 out of 10 on a quiz, you'll advance to the next chapter immediately after taking it.

In about three hours, you're done with the course, and the exam will be over in forty-five minutes. 

3.    PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator Card)

When you complete a safety boating course in Canada and pass the final exam, you will receive a temporary Boating PCOC. And you can print it immediately, buy inflatable boats, and get on the waters! So long as you have this temporary PCOC, you can use it in place of your permanent PCOC.

In Ontario, How Long Does it Take To Obtain A Boating Licence?

Once you've paid the boating license cost, it takes about 3 hours to finish the online course and exam. If you pass the Canada Boating Online Test, you can immediately print your temporary card. The mail containing your permanent PCOC will arrive in 4 weeks.

What's the Validity period of the PCOC?

The PCOC you receive is permanent and will be delivered via mail.

Related Article: What is Required to Get a Boater's License

If I want to Drive A Friend's Boat In Ontario, Do I Need A Special Licence?

Boating licences, also known as pleasure craft operator cards, are mandatory in Ontario for anybody operating a motorized boat. Regardless of age, boat length, or engine size, you need a pleasure craft operator certificate (PCOC) to legally operate a boat in any state (including electric trolling motors).

Without the proper licencing, motorboat operators in Canada may be fined CAD 250.

Personal Craft Operating Certificate (PCOC) is required for foreign nationals who wish to operate a motorized watercraft in Canadian waters for 45 days or more. If the boat has a Canadian registration, this is necessary as well. In addition, many Boater Education Cards are valid throughout Canada.

Even if you're simply letting a motorized vessel sit for a few days, there's a safety checklist of things you need to do before you leave it alone. Although this situation doesn't necessitate a PCOC.


In Case You Have Misplaced Your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, How Do You Go About Getting a New One?

Lost or damaged Pleasure Craft Operator Cards can be replaced by contacting the issuing training center. If you can't locate your course provider or if they are no longer in operation, you can get the BoatUS Safe Boating Hotline at 1-800-267-6687.

As a Tourist, What Do I Need to Know?

As a visitor to Canada, we understand that you may not be familiar with the local laws. But you must consider the Canadian boating laws as you plan your trip to Ontario.

Once you enter Canadian waters, you are subject to the regulations that address a pleasure boat's safe operation and safety equipment. Similar to the country's climate, these are unlike anything else in the world, making the Canadian government your best source of advice.

So, What If I'm a Foreigner with My Boat?

Canada's pleasure boat users must show proof of experience and training. Since September 15th, 2009, this has been mandated. Evidence of competence consists of the following:

  • A comprehensive safety guide for charter boats.
  • Proof of competency from a NASBLA-recognized state or a Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator card or boating licence

There are three ways a non-local can demonstrate their ability to drive a boat;

  • A Pleasure Craft Operator Card
  • A completed boat rental safety checklist (for power-driven rental boats
  • An operator card or equivalent which meets the requirements of their state or country

Related Article: How to Repair a Leak in an Inflatable Boat?


In the End

Taking a ride on a boat is a fun and exciting way to spend your free time. Although, in Ontario, you'll need a boater's licence to operate a watercraft legally. And a boating license costs around CAD 40.

The process of obtaining a boat licence also includes a short tutorial on maritime law and safety precautions. Of course, if you're only doing some light recreational boating, you'll want an authentic inflatable boat. And we have only the highest quality inflatable boats for sale.

At Perun Outdoors, boaters' security and fun are top priorities. As such, we stock only the finest inflatable boats for our customers. Check out our online catalogue now!

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