A Guide on Obtaining a Boating License in Ontario, Canada

By Adriana Noton

In Ontario, boaters must be in compliance with the Canadian Federal Governments laws regarding boating on Canada's waters. In order to minimize the number of recreational boating accidents, the Canadian Government enacted laws about how users should operate a power-driven watercraft for recreational purposes.

In Ontario, any Canadian citizen operating a power-driven watercraft for recreational purposes must have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. There are a number of ways to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. You can take a classroom course that is accredited by Transport Canada which is offered by private organizations throughout the country. Once you complete the boating course you then can take the boating exam which you must get a 75% and above to pass. Once you pass the test, you will be sent your own Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

Another method of obtaining a Pleasure Operator Card is by taking an online boating safety course. As with the classroom course, you take the boating exam after you have finished the course. One other way to getting the card is to get the boating exam study manual and study at your own convenience to prepare for the test, You can then take the exam online, in person where exams are being held by a private organization, or through correspondence. If you take the test online or through correspondence you need to get someone to be the supervisor of the test which is done to prevent cheating. In Ontario, there are private accredited organization offering boating courses and the boating exam. You can easily locate them online. Once you have received your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, you are then legally permitted to operate a power-driven personal watercraft. You have to keep the card with you when you are operating the watercraft on Canada's waters.

The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations clearly states: "a Pleasure Craft Operator Card is a boating license ontario document issued to a person by the administrator of an accredited test, to a person that has passed the test. Therefore, a card cannot be issued unless an accredited test has been passed." If you do not obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card and are caught, you can be fined. In addition, a previously obtained boating safety course may be recognized, and experienced boaters may take a challenge test without taking a course. Foreign visitors with a pleasure boat in Canada will be granted a grace period of 45 consecutive days. People who have taken a boating safety course prior to April 1, 1999 will not be required to take another course or test. A copy of a certificate or a card issued at the completion of courses taken prior to April 1, 1999 must be carried on board the pleasure craft.

It is important for everyone in Ontario to follow boating laws. Taking a boating safety course followed by the boating exam will not only allow you to receive your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, but it will help you be a safer boater. Once you receive your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, you can head out on Ontario's waters and have fun while safety operating your watercraft.

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