All recreational boats with a motor of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more must have a pleasure craft licence. Applications are available online. Everyone who operates a power-driven boat in Canada needs proof of competency — something that shows they understand the rules of the water and how to safely operate a boat.
National Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program
The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations require all operators of pleasure craft fitted with any type of motor and used for recreational purposes to carry proof of competency on board.*
Proof of competency indicates the boater has a basic level of boating safety knowledge required for safe recreational boating. In the past, anyone of any age could operate a recreational boat without any minimum boating safety knowledge, experience or training. These requirements were introduced in 1999 in response to boating deaths and injuries, with the goal of improving safety on Canadian waterways through education and training.
Proof of competency can be any of the following:
- A Pleasure Craft Operator Card – this is the most common proof, obtained after passing an accredited boating safety test
- Proof of having passed a boating safety course in Canada before April 1, 1999
- A specified marine certificate from the List of Certificates of Competency, Training Certificates and other Equivalencies accepted as Proof of Competency when Operating a Pleasure Craft
- A completed rental-boat safety checklist – good only for the rental period
- For Foreign Visitors, an operator card or equivalent which meets the requirements of their own state or country.
* Proof of Competency is not required in the waters of Nunavut and Northwest Territories at this time.
Access a complete listing of private sector providers authorized to provide boating safety courses and tests, and issue Pleasure Craft Operator Cards. Find a course provider with services in your area.
Applying for a Pleasure Craft Licence
Download the application form:
You can download , complete and print the PDF Application for Pleasure Craft Licence online. You cannot save the form to your computer, so you must complete and print it in one session.
- Part D of the application contains some fields (i.e. hull material, hull type, primary hull colour, and secondary hull colour) with drop down menus. Please be sure to select the correct option from the drop down menu to complete these fields.
- Remember that this information will help search and rescue personnel, should you ever need their services. Use the “Craft Remarks” box to provide any extra information that could be useful in an emergency.
Get a print application form:
You can get a print application form by visiting a Service Canada Centre or by calling the Boating Safety Infoline at 1-800 267-6687.
Completing the form:
You can use the application form to:
- get a new licence;
- transfer a licence;
- update information in the licencing system;
- get a duplicate licence; or
- cancel a licence.
Specific instructions for each use are on the application form.
Please allow five (5) business days plus mailing time to process your application. To avoid delays, please read all of the instructions before completing and submitting the form. We will return your application package if the form is incomplete or if supporting documents are missing.
Submit your application and supporting documents to:Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre P.O. Box 2006 Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5G4 Sources: