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Getting Your Boating Licence in Ontario: The Ultimate Guide


If you’re planning on spending any time on the water in Ontario, it’s a good idea to get your boating licence. Not only will it ensure that you’re following the law, but it will also help you stay safe while you’re enjoying the water. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect when getting your Ontario boating licence.

What Is the Boating Licence Process in Ontario?

With so many beautiful lakes and rivers to explore in Ontario, it’s no wonder that so many people want to get out on the water. But before you can do that, you need to get your boating licence.

The boating licence process in Ontario is called a PCOC or a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. You can get your PCOC by taking a boating safety course from an accredited provider. Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll need to pass a written exam. Only then will you be issued your PCOC, which is valid for life.

Unlike a driving licence, there’s no minimum age to get a PCOC. However, as mandated by law, no person under the age of 16 is allowed to operate a boat or any watercraft, for that matter.

To get a PCOC, you must:

  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Possess a valid Canadian boat operator’s licence
  • Have successfully completed a boating safety course, or
  • Have passed a boating safety test administered by a Ministry of Transportation-approved boating safety course provider

The boating safety course must be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and must be at least 8 hours in length. The course must include both classroom and on-water instruction.

Once you have completed the boating safety course and received your PCOC, it is valid for life.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Boating Licence in Ontario?

It takes anywhere from a few hours to a few days to get a boating licence in Ontario, depending on your previous experience and how quickly you can complete the mandatory boating safety course. 

If you have never operated a boat before, or if you have limited experience, you will need to take a boating safety course before you can obtain your licence. The course typically takes about 8 hours to complete, and you will need to pass a written exam at the end. 

What Are the Benefits of Having a Boating Licence in Ontario?

In Ontario, boaters are required to have a PCOC if they operate a motorized vessel. The card is obtained by passing a test on the rules of the road and boating safety. 

There are several benefits of having a boating licence in Ontario:

  1. It ensures that boaters have the knowledge and skills necessary to operate their vessels safely.
  2. It helps to protect the boating public by ensuring that operators are aware of the rules and regulations.
  3. It helps to reduce the number of accidents and injuries on Ontario waterways. 

The PCOC is valid for life and does not need to be renewed. However, boaters are encouraged to take a refresher course every few years to keep up to date with the latest rules and regulations. 


The boating licence process in Ontario is relatively simple and straightforward. All boaters must have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) in order to operate a motorized vessel on Ontario waters. You can obtain a PCOC by taking a boating safety course and passing the exam. Once you have your licence, you will be able to operate a boat in Ontario waters.

Are you ready to get your boating licence and embark on your next boating adventure? Visit S&A Sprint Driving School to get started. We are Toronto’s preferred driving school, providing practical one-on-one lessons for driving and boat licences in Toronto. Our team of experts will ensure that you are fully prepared to operate any vehicle of your choice. Contact us today to learn more or to register for our next boat driving licence course.