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How to Get a Boat License in Ontario: A Comprehensive Guide


If you’re ready to embark on exciting boating adventures in the stunning lakes and waterways of Ontario, obtaining a boat license is a crucial step. In Ontario, boaters are required to hold a Pleasure Craft Operator Card, commonly known as a boat license, to operate a recreational vessel. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step overview of how to obtain a boat license in Ontario. By following these instructions, completing the required courses and understanding the regulations, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable boating experience in the province.

Understand the Boat License Requirements

Before applying for a boat license in Ontario, it’s important to understand the requirements:

  1. Age Restrictions: To operate a motorized boat without direct supervision, you must be at least 16 years old.
  2. Boating Education Course: Completion of an accredited boating safety course is mandatory for obtaining a boat license. This course covers essential topics such as boating regulations, safety equipment, navigation rules and emergency procedures.
  3. Pleasure Craft Operator Card: Upon successful completion of the boating safety course, you will receive the Pleasure Craft Operator Card, also known as the boat license.

Enroll in a Boating Safety Course

To obtain a boat license in Ontario, follow these steps to enroll in a boating safety course:

  1. Research Accredited Course Providers: Look for Transport Canada-approved boating safety course providers in Ontario. They may offer classroom-based courses or online options for convenience.
  2. Choose the Course Format: Select the course format that best suits your learning preferences and schedule. Online courses allow you to study at your own pace, while classroom courses offer instructor-led training.
  3. Complete the Course: Enroll in the chosen course and successfully complete all the required modules and assessments.
  4. Obtain the Pleasure Craft Operator Card: Once you have completed the course, you will receive the Pleasure Craft Operator Card, which serves as your boat license.

Submit Your Application

After completing the boating safety course and obtaining the Pleasure Craft Operator Card, follow these steps to submit your boat license application:

  • Download the Application Form: Visit the Transport Canada website and download the Pleasure Craft License Application Form.
  • Complete the Form: Fill out the application form with accurate and up-to-date information, including your personal details, boat information and the Pleasure Craft Operator Card number.
  • Submit the Application: Send the completed application form, along with the required fee, to the address provided on the form. It is recommended to make a photocopy of the application for your records.

Receive Your Boat License

Once your application has been processed and approved, you will receive your boat license from Transport Canada. It typically arrives by mail and should be kept on board the vessel while boating. The boat license serves as proof of your qualification to operate a motorized boat in Ontario’s waters.


Obtaining a boat license in Ontario is a necessary step to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience. By understanding the license requirements, enrolling in a boating safety course, submitting your application and obtaining the Pleasure Craft Operator Card, you can navigate Ontario’s waters with confidence and in compliance with regulations. Always carry your boat license while boating and familiarize yourself with the rules and safety practices to promote a responsible culture. Remember, safety on the water is paramount and a boat license is a crucial part of that equation.

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