The first thing to know is that all Canadian provinces require a boat licence in order to operate a motorized boat.
The good news is that a license is valid for a lifetime and the license from one province is valid in any other.
Licenses are relatively easy to acquire and they are available online, which makes the entire process rather convenient.
In the following steps, we outline what it takes you to fulfill all legal requirements online and then receive the license in the mail.
Step #1: Choose an Online Course
Canada accredits online schools and there is a wide range of accredited websites available to you. Picking from the accredited options is simply a matter of personal taste, since most sites follow the same curriculum. Most sites have guided tours that let you see the materials and prep tests. Choose a site that is easy to read and has intuitive navigation and layout.
Step #2: Take the Course and Study the Materials
Take the course, which will walk you through the curriculum step by step. Note that there is no rush, so complete each step at a pace that is comfortable to you. When you finish the course, take a prep test. If you do well, move onto the next step. If not, study the materials further.
Step #3: Take the Exam
When you’re confident that you know the materials, you can take the test online. The test is served by Canada but you can usually take it directly through your school’s website. The test is open book, and if you fail it, you can take it again after 24 hours. If you need to take the test a third time or more, you’ll have to retake the online course first but at no additional charge.
Step #4: Print a Temporary Card
Once you complete the test and pass it, it will present to you a temporary card. Simply print that out and present it if an official, charter or insurer asks for it. This step is optional and if you don’t need the card right away, you can simply wait for the permanent card to arrive in the mail.
Step #5: Receive Your Permanent Card in the Mail or Pick It Up
Upon passing your exam, Canada will mail you your license. It can take up to four weeks but usually arrives quicker than that. If you want your permanent license even faster, you can go to wherever licenses are available and they can print you a physical copy immediately.
Best of luck and happy sailing!
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