Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Deadline for Canadian Boaters

Pleasure Craft Operator CardIn one week, boaters in Canada caught without a Pleasure Craft Operator Card can be fined $250.

According to Transport Canada, “The requirement to have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) was introduced to improve the competency and safety of Canadians who venture out in boats for recreational activity.” The new law applies to virtually all Canadian boaters - there is no grandfather clause or age exemption, and even boats with a small trolling motor require the operator to carry a card.

To obtain an Operator Card, one must pass an exam – available online from BoaterExam.com as well as a host of other providers listed at the website of Transport Canada.

BoaterExam provides a free online course guide as well as a $50 online test that gets you an instant temporary Operator Card if you pass.

In all cases, certification is good for life, or until they change the law again in the future.

Non-residents are not affected unless they boat in Canada for more than 45 days, or are using a boat registered in Canada. For more information (in English or French) visit Transport Canada’s Marine Transportation page.