Get Your Boating Licence BEFORE you go on the water!!!

Friday, March 13th, 2015 12:02 pm

Canada now requires all boaters to carry a boating permit with them while they are on the water. This is good and bad news. Good news, because it means the waterways are much safer. Bad news, because it means you’ll have to take the time to get a boating permit! However, obtaining a license isn’t hard to do. Here’s how you can get it.

1. Find a provider.
There are multiple online agencies that can assist you in obtaining a license, or you can pay a visit to your local government center and inquire about it there. No matter where you go, they will be able to point you in the right direction.

2. Study and pass the Canadian Boater Safety Course.
This is a specialy designed course intended to help aspiring boaters learn the various laws and regulations surrounding watercraft, as well as safety practices to protect yourself and others while on the water. Once you’ve studied the course, you must then take the Transport Canada Boating Safety test. This test can be administered both online and in a classroom, and don’t worry if you fail – you can try again 24 hours later. The test can be taken up to five times. The course and test combined vary in cost, but it usually runs around $39.95 CAD.

3. Wait for the card to arrive.
After you have passed the test, you can print out a temporary boater’s permit. The real card will arrive in the mail within a few week’s time, but until it does, the temporary permit is valid.

Every individual who intends to operate a boat will need to take the exam, so you can make it a family event. Set aside one day each week as a study day and get your entire family together to study and practice for the boating exam, then all go in and take it at one time. This way, each member of your family will be properly licensed to operate the boat. This is a good idea in the event that the primary operator is injured and someone else needs to take the helm.

A few more things to keep in mind: the permit is valid for life, and there are no annual fees or renewal costs. Once you pass the exam, you’re certified. It’s also valid in every province, no matter where you originally got your card. Failure to have a permit while on the water can result in hefty fines, so it’s a good idea to take the course!