Boating License Information

It was brought up at the annual meeting that those Americans who had boats registered in Canada need to have a Boating/Operator’s License from Canada. This does NOT appear to be the case. Granted I am not a government official, but I did review several government websites and I called Transport Canada, and they all say the same thing:
If you have a valid Operator’s license from your state/country Ontario will recognize it as “non-resident proof of competency”.

The actual government site states it this way:

How the Regulations Apply to Non-Residents

The Regulations apply to non-residents:

  • If they operate their pleasure craft in Canadian waters for more than 45 consecutive days or,
  • If they operate a pleasure craft that is licensed or registered in Canada (including rented or chartered boats).
  • The Regulations do not apply to non-residents who operate their pleasure craft in Canadian waters for less than 45 consecutive days.  Please note that a proof of residence will be required on board at all times.

Acceptable Proof of Competency for Non-Residents

For non-residents, proof of competency can take one of three forms:

  • A Canadian-issued pleasure craft operator card.
  • A completed boat rental safety check-list (for power-driven rental boats).
  • An operator card or equivalent that meets the requirements of their state or country.

I believe the confusion may come from that first section “the Regulations apply to non-residents….” and the 45 day section…I was told on the phone that “Americans just need to have some kind of valid and current Operator Card from somewhere and some form of ID, like a driver’s license to prove they are the same person who is listed on the Operator Card”. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a Canadian Operator’s license (you can take the test at the public library on-line) and it does last for life.

Hope this helps! Robin Ziebert