Proof of Boating Competency

As of September 15, 2009, any persons who operate pleasure craft of any size fitted with a motor will have to carry proof of competency. Proof of competency can take one of three forms:

  • proof of having successfully completed a boating safety course in Canada prior to April 1, 1999;
  • a Pleasure Craft Operator Card issued following the successful completion of an accredited test; and
  • a completed rental-boat safety checklist (for power-driven rental boats, valid for the rental period).


Rented Boats

What if I rent a boat? Do I still have to carry a proof of competency?
Yes. For operators of rental boats, proof of competency can be provided by means of a completed rental-boat safety checklist (for power-driven rental boats), valid for the duration of the rental period.

Does everyone have to fill out a rental-boat safety checklist before renting a powered boat?
Only those individuals that will be operating the rental boat will be required to complete the rental-boat safety checklist. If you already have a valid proof of competency, you will not be required to fill out a rental-boat safety checklist.

Do visitors from foreign countries need to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?
Non-residents operating their pleasure craft in Canadian waters for more than 45 consecutive days are required to obtain an Operator Card. An operator card or equivalent issued to a non-resident by their state or country may be considered as proof of competency. Please contact us for more details.

Do commercial operators need a Card?
No. As long as you are operating your craft for commercial purposes then you are not required to show proof of competency. However, if you operate your vessel (or any other pleasure craft) for recreational purposes you are required to show proof of competency.


Leaders in online boating safety education and Pleasure Craft Operator Card certification include:



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