Canadian Recreational Boaters must have Proof of Competency

Spring 2009 CSANews Issue 70  |  Posted date : Apr 30, 2009.Back to list

Canadian recreational boaters must have proof of competency

Deadline to Obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card: September 2009

After September 15, 2009, anyone operating a motorized pleasure craft must carry a proof of competency on board.

The Pleasure Craft Operator Card is probably the most easily identifiable proof of competency. Other acceptable forms include: proof of boating safety training prior to April 1, 1999 or a completed Rental Boat Safety Checklist.

Transport Canada's requirement for recreational boaters to carry a proof of competency is being phased in over a ten-year period. When do you need a proof of competency?
  • Now, anyone born after April 1, 1983.
  • Now, anyone operating a motorized pleasure craft less than 4 metres (including personal watercraft).
  • By September 15, 2009, all operators of motorized pleasure craft must obtain proof of competency, regardless of their age or length of their vessel.
If you haven't already obtained your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, Transport Canada recommends taking a boating safety course from an accredited course provider and passing a test at the end of the course. A course, while not mandatory, is a small investment that has a big payoff: it will help you to be more aware of boating safety practices, prevention measures, and practical strategies to reduce risks.

Remember that boating safety is a life long commitment. For tips on staying safe on the water, or to find out more about how to obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, please visit

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Related links
Pleasure Craft Operator Card