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Pleasure Craft Operator

The rules have changed: Prepare to get carded.

As of September 2009, if you operate a powered boat including dingys, personal watercraft (like Jet Skis or Sea-Doos) or sailboats equipped with an engine you need to get the Canadian Transport Canada Pleasure Craft Operator (PCO) card - no matter what your age.

How to get carded

There are three options

1. You earn the PCO card by scoring 75% on a test of basic boating safety knowledge at the end of the Lifesaving Society's BOAT course. Upcoming Courses

2. You can take the BOAT Study Guide home and take the test when you're ready. Click here for a list of Lifesaving Society approved testing agents & instructors throughout Nova Scotia.

3 If you currently hold a Transport Canada approved Marine Certification, Canadian Coast Guard endorsement or certification or Department of National Defence Certificate you may contact the Lifesaving Society to find out how you may receive your PCO Card. For a list of Transport Canada approved certificates of competency or training go to Transport Canada.


The Pleasure Craft Operator card is good for life and must be carried at all times while operating a powerboat.