Boating Regulations Information

As you plan your outdoor vacation in Ontario, there are a few things that you will need to consider regarding Canada’s boating regulations.

For Operators:

Be sure to register your boats every year! Operators of unregistered boats could be fined. You can register them online at this link:

If you bring your own boat:

Non-residents of Ontario who bring their own boats do not need to show proof of competency unless their boat will remain in Canada for more than 45 consecutive days. Guests with their own boats simply need to comply with the requirements of their home state with respect to operator competency AND carriage of safety equipment.

If you rent or borrow a boat in Canada:

As of September 15, 2009, all operators of Canadian watercraft of any size on Canadian waterways must show proof of competency. Proof of competency can take a number of forms:

A Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator Card can be obtained by taking a boating course from a Transport Canada-accredited Course Provider. Some courses are available online while others are available in a classroom setting.

Rental Boat Safety Checklists are available at many tourism operations across Ontario and are to be completed with a staff member of the vacation establishment. The staff will provide an overview of pleasure craft operation and safety as well as a review of local water hazards.

Operators of a pleasure craft MUST carry either the card or the checklist on their person while they are operating the boat.

NASBLA approved boater cards are available in most states across the USA.

There may be fees charged to obtain these cards. Refer to course providers for the amount.

(If you are a tourist operator and you wish to provide the Rental Boat Safety Checklists to your guest who rent your boats, NOTO produces pads of 50 checklists in carbonless forms for ease of use. As an added feature, our checklist forms include a damages waiver that has been reviewed by insurance companies.  To view our pricing list and order form for these checklist pads, click here:  Rental Boat Safety Checklist Pad

Alternatively, you may print your own Rental Boat Safety Checklist.  A copy can be found on the Transport Canada website at:

Life Jackets:

Recent changes to the Small Vessel Regulations allow a non-resident of Canada to bring and use their own personal flotation device or life jacket legally while visiting Canada. This safety equipment must conform to the laws of their home country and be of an appropriate size and in good condition. 

For more Visitor Information regarding Canadian Boating Regulations, please visit the Transport Canada website:


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