Get Your British Columbia Boating License

Take this Transport Canada-approved online course, print your temporary PCOC, and be on the water in British Columbia in just a few hours.

British Columbia Boating License in 3 Easy Steps

The official term is Pleasure Craft Operator Card, which is good for all provinces.
  1. Study and Pass the Canadian Boater Safety Course

    Study the free online course material that includes live-action videos and interactive animations. After completing the course, you’ll write the timed Transport Canada Boating Safety Test. (If you don’t pass on the first try, don’t worry. After 24 hours, you’ll have one more attempt to pass.)

  2. Pay and Print Your Temporary Card

    After passing the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test and paying the $49.95 CAD Pleasure Craft Operator Card fee, you’ll instantly print out your Temporary Pleasure Craft Operator Card, which is your temporary operating permit for British Columbia and all other provinces.

  3. Receive Your Pleasure Craft Operator Card in the Mail

    Your lifetime Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) will arrive by mail in 2-3 weeks. The Canada PCOC is accepted in British Columbia and all other provinces. (Use your Temporary Pleasure Craft Operator Card to get on the water immediately after passing the course and until your permanent card arrives.) With Boat Ed, getting a boating license in British Columbia is made easy.

Do you need Canada Boating education?

You need education if you will be operating a pleasure craft that has a motor and is used for recreational purposes in Canada.

Transport Canada Requirements

There is no minimum age requirement to take this online course.

You do not have to be a resident of Canada to take this online course.

Boating in British Columbia

With 27,200 km of coastline, British Columbia offers boaters many choices for getting out on the water. On the Pacific Ocean, boaters can enjoy the open waters and also go whale watching. With their scenic coastlines, the Gulf Islands, the Broughton Islands, and other islands are popular areas for recreational boating. British Columbia also has thousands of lakes, many of which, such as Okanagan Lake and Atlin Lake, are perfect for boating, sailing, canoeing, and kayaking. Boaters in British Columbia will also find coastlines, lakes, and rivers that offer private, secluded coves for gunkholing.

In addition to the ocean, lakes, and rivers that are available for boating, the weather along the coast is typically mild so that it is possible to boat year-round. The Georgia Basin, including the east coast of Vancouver Island and the coast of the Gulf Islands, receives less rain than other areas, making this area popular for boaters.

No matter which waterway you choose for boating, it is important to take precautions to protect everyone on board your pleasure craft. When going out for a day of fun on the water, no one wants a boating accident to cut their outing short. By taking a boating safety education course, you can learn how to boat safely and legally and can make sure you are prepared and know what to do should an emergency occur.

I want to operate a boat in British Columbia. How do I get the British Columbia boating license?

You may have heard that you need a Canada boating license or British Columbia boating license to operate a boat. Unlike driving a car, you do not need a driver’s license or a boater’s license to operate a pleasure craft. What you really need is a Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). The PCOC is proof that you have successfully completed an approved boating safety course that is required for pleasure craft operators in British Columbia and other provinces. Since the Pleasure Craft Operator Card does not expire and does not need to be renewed, it is not called the Canadian Boat License, British Columbia boat license, or pleasure craft license.

Who needs a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

In Canada, anyone who operates a pleasure craft must carry proof of competency on board if the pleasure craft has any type of motor and is used for recreational purposes. This includes boats powered by trolling motors.

Proof of competency shows that a person has at least the basic level of boating knowledge that is necessary to operate a pleasure craft safely. The most common proof of competency is a Pleasure Craft Operator Card that a boater receives after passing a Transport Canada–approved boating safety course. The Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card is accepted as proof of competency in British Columbia and all other provinces.

How do I get a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

You can get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) by taking the Transport Canada–approved boating safety course from Boat Ed. The Boat Canada boating safety course from Boat Ed was developed specifically for Transport Canada to meet the competency requirements for the PCOC. By taking your boating course on boat-ed.com, you can be sure that when you complete the course and pass the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test, you will have the Canada PCOC that you need to operate a pleasure craft legally in British Columbia and all other provinces.

With Boat Ed, you can complete an online boating safety course at your own pace and on any device—a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. All courses are mobile-ready, which means that you can complete your course easily and in the way that is most convenient for you. And it only takes a few hours of your time to complete the requirements to get your card.

What if I go boating in another province?

The Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) that you receive after taking the online Boat Canada Course from Boat Ed is national, making it the only PCOC that you need to operate a pleasure craft in any province.

If you go boating in the United States, the Pleasure Craft Operator Card is recognized by the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) as meeting their education standards. (This is known as “reciprocity.”)

Why should I take my boating safety course from Boat Ed?

Boat Ed is produced by Kalkomey Enterprises, LLC. Kalkomey is dedicated to providing print and online boating education courses for North American boaters in Canada and the United States. Boat Ed is the only boating safety education course and exam provider that develops online courses, eBooks, and print materials on behalf of government boating and boater safety agencies in North America.

Boat Canada manual cover
The Boat Canada boating safety course from Boat Ed was developed specifically for Transport Canada and meets the competency requirements for the Canada Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC).

We’re people, not robots.

Our customer service team, made up of real people with real Boat Ed experience, is here to provide assistance through all channels—phone, email, and chat.

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Get help seven days a week from professionals like Bill, Diana, Heidi, Laura, Lilibeth, Liz, Marc, Nichole, and Thomas.

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Transport Canada, Marine Safety and Security
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Made in North America

This Canada Boating safety course is proudly made to serve students, agencies, and organizations worldwide.

Is it the Boating safety licence?

You may have heard that you need the Canada Boat Licence to operate your boat, but what you really need is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). Since it is a national card, this is the only PCOC that you need to operate a boat in all provinces. You can get the Pleasure Craft Operator Card by taking this boat safety course at boat-ed.com. Find out if you need the card.

Did you lose your card? Visit ilostmycard.com.

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Need help? Here are the answers to the questions Canada Boating students most frequently ask.

Frequently Asked Questions