The basic requirement is to successfully obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card accredited by Transport Canada- such as the CYA "S*P*A*R*K START" program offered by an Ontario Sailing Member Club, School, Camp or Marina Advisor.(Ontario Sailing Member Organizations)
The power boat operator will then be registered with the Canadian Yachting Association and issued a card. The operator must carry the card whenever operating a boat (much like an automobile driver's license).
People renting a vessel must complete a dockside checklist.
Operators must obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card and carry it with them at all times while operating a power boat!
What if I rent a powerboat or PWC?
Currently, a Pleasure Craft Operator Card is not required in order to operate a rented watercraft. Instead, it is sufficient for a renter to complete a rental safety checklist.
You may no longer Grandfather a Pleasure Craft Operator Card!
Please see below for a few frequently asked questions from the Transport Canada website and a link to their page:
Will boaters who have previously taken a boating safety course be required to take another course or test?
Those who have taken a boating safety course prior to April 1, 1999 will not be required to take another course or test. A copy of a certificate or a card issued at the completion of courses taken prior to April 1, 1999 will need to be carried on board the pleasure craft.
Can I exchange my certificate for a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?
No. The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations cleary state that a Pleasure Craft Operator Card is a document issued to a person by the administrator of an accredited test, to a person that has passed the test. Therefore, a card cannot be issued unless an accredited test has been passed.
What should I do if I receive training prior to April 1, 1999 and my certificate does not show a completion date?
If the course provider that issued the certificate is still in existence, you can contact them to issue you a certificate showing the appropriate completion date. Otherwise, you will need to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.