MyBoatCard.com® | Official Canadian Boating License

Can you operate a boat without a license in BC?

BC Boating LicenseNo, you can not operate a powered watercraft in BC without having a boating license (also known as a Pleasure Craft Operator Card) or another proof of competency on board with you.

Other proofs of competency that are valid in BC include:

  • A certificate that states you have successfully completed a boating safety course in Canada prior to April 1, 1999;
  • A completed and signed boat rental safety checklist (applicable only for the rental period); or
  • A specified marine certificate or equivalency recognized by Transport Canada.

There are no exemptions to this law. All operators of powered watercraft, including vessels fitted with small motors or electric motors, require a boating license or other form of proof of competency.

Note: You do not need a boating license or other proof of competency if your watercraft does not have a motor or if you have rented the boat and signed a rental safety checklist.

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What is the fine for driving a boat without a license in BC?

Boating BC Law EnforcementIf you’re caught operating a powered watercraft without a boating license or proof of competency in BC, you could face a minimum fine of $250

Remember that boating without proof of competency is not only illegal, but it’s also dangerous. By obtaining a boating license, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills necessary to operate your boat safely and responsibly.

Is it mandatory to obtain a boating license in BC?

Yes – it is mandatory to obtain a boating license (or other proof of competency) if you are operating a motorized watercraft in BC.

What size boat motor can you drive without a license in BC?

You can not operate any power-driven vessel regardless of the size of the motor in BC without having either a boating license (PCOC) or another form of proof of competency. 

That means that if you’re planning to operate a small, lightweight boat with a small motor (even an electric motor), you will need to obtain a boating license (PCOC).

Do I need a driver's license to operate a boat?

No, you don’t need a driver’s license to operate a boat in BC. However, you will need a boating license, also known as a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). The PCOC is issued by MyBoatCard.com® and is required for anyone who operates a motorized boat in Canada.

Can I operate a boat if I have lost my driver's license?

If you’ve lost your driver’s license, you can still legally operate a boat in BC – as long as you have a valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) or other proof of competency. The PCOC is issued by MyBoatCard.com® and is required for anyone who operates a motorized boat in Canada.

A boating license is a separate document and does not depend on you having a driver’s license.

Do I have to carry my boating license with me on the boat?

Yes, it is mandatory to carry your boating license (PCOC) with you on the boat. If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer and cannot present your boating license or another recognized proof of competency, you may be fined.

If carrying a Pleasure Craft Operator Card as proof of competency, the original card must be carried on board. Photocopies or electronic copies of the card will not be accepted.

Make sure you also have your required safety equipment on board before you leave the dock.

Can you get a temporary boat license in BC?

Yes, you can obtain a temporary boating license in BC. MyBoatCard.com makes it easy.  Simply complete the online boating safety course and Transport Canada exam. A temporary boating license will be issued to you immediately after completing the exam.

You can print the temporary boating license at home and go boating straight away, The temporary boating license is valid for 60 days from the date of issue. This is a great option for those who need to operate a boat at short notice.

How do I get a boating license in BC?

To get a boating license in BC, you need to complete the MyBoatCard.com® boating safety course. The course is Transport Canada accredited and takes roughly 3 to 4 hours to complete. The course covers everything you need to know to operate a boat safely, including navigation, boating regulations, and emergency procedures.

Once you have completed the course, you will need to take the Transport Canada boating license exam, which can also be done online. The exam is open book and exam retries are free.

When you pass the exam, MyBoatCard.com will then issue you a temporary boating license (PCOC) that you can print at home and go boating straight away. Your permanent PCOC will be shipped out to you within 48 hours.

How long does it take to get a boating license in BC?

It takes on average 3-4 hours to get a boating license (PCOC) online. This includes 3 hours to study the online boating safety course and 1 hour to complete the Transport Canada exam.

The amount of time it takes to get a boating license in BC varies depending on how quickly you are able to complete the course. Once you have completed the course and passed the exam, you can print your temporary boating license (PCOC) at home and go boating straight away. Your permanent boating license (PCOC) or replacement PCOC, will be shipped out to you within 48 hours.

Be Safe, Get Certified.

BC Boater LicenseIt is illegal to operate a powered boat in BC without a boating license (or other proof of competency), and the fines for doing so can be significant.  Additionally, obtaining a boating license is a good way to ensure that you are operating your boat safely and responsibly.

By completing a boating safety course and obtaining your boating license, you can gain the knowledge and skills needed to operate a boat safely, protect yourself and others, and avoid costly fines. If you want to test your knowledge – why not try out the free BC boating license practice test.

With the convenience and affordability of MyBoatCard.com’s online course, there is no reason not to get your boating license today. So why wait? Join the over 2 million certified Canadians, and get your boating license in BC today!

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