The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft
Regulations require all Canadian operators of pleasure craft
fitted with any type of motor and used for recreational purposes to
carry proof of competency on board.
The most common form of proof of competency is a Pleasure Craft
Operator (PCO) card obtained after passing an accredited boating
Proof of competency is not required in the waters of Nunavut and
Northwest Territories at this time.
How to get carded
You earn the PCO card by scoring 75% on a 50 question
multiple-choice test of basic boating safety knowledge. The
Pleasure Craft Operator card does not expire and cannot be revoked
or suspended. It must be carried at all times while operating a
Power restrictions for youth
Under federal regulations, youth under 16 years of age may not
operate boats above certain power limits unless accompanied in the
boat and directly supervised by someone 16 years or older:
Under 12 years: Maximum power 10 hp
12-16 years: Maximum power 40 hp
Under 16 years: May not operate personal
watercraft, accompanied or not.
Information about boating safety is available in the Who's Drowning
section of this website.