Shawnessy Registry

The Canadian Coast Guard has made it mandatory to have a boat operators licence when operating a boat. To obtain a licence, you are required to undergo a written exam and pass with a score of at least 75%. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive a temporary licence and the permanent one will come to you by mail. Currently, not everyone operating a boat is required to have a licence. The requirements are listed below:

All operators born after April 1, 1983 Now (came in effect September 15, 1999)
All operators whose craft are under 4m. (13.1 feet) in length, including personal watercraft Now (came in effect September 15, 2002)
All operators September 15, 2009

Although the Boat Operator Card requirements are currently being phased in, certain restrictions concerning age and horsepower became effective April 1st, 1999.

  • Under 12 years of age and not directly supervised** Can operate a vessel with no more than 10hp
  • Between 12 years of age and under 16 years of age, and not directly supervised** Can operate a vessel with no more than 40hp
  • 16 years of age and over No power restrictions

** Directly supervised means accompanied and directly supervised by a person who is 16 years of age or older. Persons under 16 years of age may operate a motorboat outside their allowed limits if they have proof of operator competency (their Boat Operator Card), and are accompanied and directly supervised.

The person providing this supervision must be 16 years of age or older, in the boat at all times, and not engaged in other activities (such as keeping watch on a water skier).

These restrictions also prohibit persons under the age of 16 from operating personal watercraft (PWC), regardless of whether they are accompanied by an adult or not.

When you are ready, the books to study for the exam are available at the registry office. The test may be done once a day and there is no appointment necessary. We do not allow testing within 30 minutes to close.