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Obtaining and Replacing a Lost Boating License in Ontario


Ontario is a province that is deeply connected to water. Its long coasts are lined with the Great Lakes and the Arctic Ocean, and its expanse of land is filled with rivers and streams. Those who live in the cities flock to the lakes during their free time, while those living in rural areas spend much of their time close to the water. No matter where you are in Ontario, water is an inescapable part of life, and the best way to take advantage of it is to be knowledgeable and well-prepared.

That being said, if you plan on operating a boat with a motor to enjoy these waters, you are legally required to have a valid boating license. This is critical to ensure the safety of yourself and other boaters.

Today, we’re going to talk about how you can obtain a boating license, along with what you can do to get it if you’ve lost it:

Obtaining a Boating License

To legally operate a power-driven vessel for recreational purposes in Ontario or elsewhere in Canada, you must possess a document that proves you are knowledgeable about the fundamental boating regulations of Canada and are experienced in competently operating a boat. This comes in the form of proof of competency.

Even if you aren’t using a motor to propel your boat, you still need proof of competency with you at all times. Not having so and being caught will get you fined $250.

With that in mind, the most common proof of competency you can obtain is something known as the Pleasure Craft Operator Card. This card is obtained by completing a safety course offered by an approved provider and passing an exam. The course and exam cover the rules, regulations, and safety requirements for operating a recreational vessel in the province. After passing the exam, you will receive your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, which is proof of competency and must be carried onboard the vessel whenever it is in operation. Once you get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, it will be valid for an indefinite amount of time.

Replacing a Lost Boating License

Having a boating license that lasts a lifetime is a great privilege, but it’s all too easy to misplace your card during your aquatic escapades. Fortunately, you have options if you need to replace your Pleasure Craft Operator Card. You can either contact the course provider that issued your card, who will be able to provide you with a new one for a small fee. It’s important to remember that only course providers accredited by Transport Canada are authorized to issue replacement cards. As a precautionary measure, you can even purchase spare cards in advance.


So, if you’re planning to go boating recreationally in Ontario, go ahead and grab yourself a Pleasure Craft Operator Card. And, while you’re at it, why not grab spares? That way, should you accidentally lose one, you have one you can always bring along the next time you go boating. But of course, if you don’t have any spares, feel free to reach out to your course provider to get it replaced for a fee.

Sprint Driving School offers experienced and professional instructors to help you obtain the license you need in Ontario. If you are looking for a boat license, reach out to us today!