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 safety test.

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 powerboat.


Pleasure Craft Operator Card

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 (unaccompanied).

12-16 years: Maximum power 40 hp (unaccompanied).

Under 16 years: May not operate personal watercraft, accompanied or not.

Boating safety

Information about boating safety is available in the Who's Drowning section of this website.