British Columbia Boating License in 3 Easy StepsThe official term is Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), which is good for all provinces.
Study and Pass the Canadian Boater Safety Course
Study the online course material that includes live-action videos and interactive animations. When you register for the online course, pay $39.95 CAD for the Canadian PCOC exam. You’ll take the timed Transport Canada Boating Safety Test after completing the course. (If you don’t pass the test on the first try, don’t worry. After 24 hours, you’ll have one more attempt to pass.)
Print Your Temporary Card
After passing the Transport Canada Boating Safety Test, you’ll be able to instantly print out your Temporary PCOC. This is your temporary operating permit for Ontario and all other provinces.
Receive Your PCOC in the Mail
Your lifetime Canada PCOC will arrive by mail in 2–3 weeks. The Canada PCOC is accepted in British Columbia and all other provinces. (Use your Temporary PCOC 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. Proof of certification from any NASBLA–approved boating course is acceptable.
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.
Transport Canada, Marine Safety and Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street
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 PCOC. This card 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 PCOC 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 PCOC?
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 PCOC that a boater receives after passing a Transport Canada–approved boating safety course. The Canada PCOC is accepted as proof of competency in British Columbia and all other provinces.
How do I get a PCOC?
You can get your 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 PCOC that you receive after taking the online Boat Canada Course from Boat Ed is national, making it the only card that you need to operate a pleasure craft in any Canadian province.
If you go boating in the United States, the PCOC 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.
Boating in Your Province
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.
9:00 a.m. to midnight EST, seven days a week.
Get help seven days a week from professionals like Katy, Heidi, Josh, Misty, Liz, Allen, and Thomas.
Need help? Here are the answers to the questions Canada Boating students most frequently ask.Canada Frequently Asked Questions