Pleasure Craft Operator Card

All pleasure craft operators in Canada must have a Pleasure Craft Operators card when boating or face a $250 fine. The card is good for life and is recognized across Canada and the US. The Pleasure Craft Operators Card is required by law in compliance with Transport Canada. This card is proof that the holder has read and understands the rules and regulations of Canadian waterways. Pleasure craft operators must carry the card with them at all times when on the water.

Any pleasure craft operator requires the card regardless of age, there are no age exemptions.

This is not a driver’s license for pleasure craft. It is proof of competency of Canadian Boating laws as determined by the Canadian Office of Boating Safety. Pleasure craft operators must possess and produce their Pleasure Craft Operators Card when requested by authorities. Failure to do so can result in a fine plus administrative fees. It makes sense to obtain the Pleasure Craft Operators Card to avoid having to pay these large fines.

You must pass a Transport Canada accredited online test with a passing grade of 75% to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operators Card.

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What is a Pleasure Craft?

Operators of any motorized pleasure craft must carry a Pleasure Craft Operators Card. If your water craft has a motor of any size (doesn’t matter if it is being used or not) you must have a pleasure craft operators card. This includes children.


  • Powerboats
  • Sailboats (equipped with motors even under sail)
  • Personal Water Craft
  • Fishing Boats
  • Jet Skis
  • Hovercrafts
  • Airboats

Pleasure Craft Operator Card vs. Pleasure Craft License?

Pleasure craft license apply to the BOAT itself. Pleasure craft operators cards apply to the DRIVER. A pleasure craft license refers to the registration numbers placed on the side or pleasure craft as required by the small vessel regulations of the Canada Shipping Act. The pleasure craft license is used to identify individual craft similar to a motor vehicle license plate.

You can apply for a Pleasure Craft License at any Service Canada Centre across the country. For the location nearest you, visit Service Canada or call 1.800.O-CANADA.