Transport Canada to make Pleasure Craft Operator Card test Tougher

Update: see previous post on May 23, 2010 “Pleasure Craft Operator Card – Canada”

Transport Canada has announced that they will be making the licencing process for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card even tougher to obtain. This move by Transport Canada is as a result of an marine accident that occurred on July 3, 2010 in British Columbia. One person is dead and two people remain in hospital with serious injuries following a collision between a speedboat and a houseboat Saturday night on Shuswap Lake in the B.C. Interior.

James Kusie, of federal Transport Minister John Baird’s office, said the government is altering the licensing program with the goal of improving boating safety from coast to coast. “New standards are currently being developed to improve Internet testing and will be available to course providers later this year,” he said.

The test which can be administered over the internet by a number of accredited companies, currently consists of thirty-six (36) questions and Transport Canada plans on changing this to fifty (50) questions later this year. The new revised questions will place a greater emphasis on the rules of the water.

If a boater is caught operating a boat without the Pleasure Craft Operator Card can be fined a minimum of $250.00.

Transport Canada’s Mr. Kusie said the new licensing protocol will require applicants to review an online study guide before they can take the test, and actually demonstrate that they have read and understood the material. New test questions have also been developed, he said, and were recently pilot-tested across Canada.

Once the someone passes the test, the Pleasure Craft Operator Card is valid for life.

Currently the Small Vessel Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, require all pleasure craft powered by an engine 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more to have a pleasure craft licence, unless they have a vessel registration.

You must carry a copy of your Pleasure Craft Licence on board.

A Pleasure Craft Licence is different from a Vessel Registration. Check the Vessel Registration Office website for more information on registering your pleasure craft.

Pleasure craft licences are free.

Recent amendments to the Small Vessel Regulations have resulted in the following changes to the Pleasure Craft Licensing Process:

  • Owners of licensed pleasure craft now have up to 90 days from the date of purchase to transfer a pleasure craft licence. During which time you may continue to operate your pleasure craft with the existing licence and a copy of the transfer documents onboard.
  • Pleasure craft licences are valid for a period of 10 years. If there are changes to your name or address in that time, you must update your licence by applying to Service Canada.

Service Canada delivers Pleasure Craft Licensing at all of their offices across Canada.

The Pleasure Craft Licensing system allows Search and Rescue personnel to access the information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the event of an emergency. This could mean the difference between life and death!

Application for a Pleasure Craft Licence.

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