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Transport Canada Approved

We've been making smart boaters for more than 17 years. BOATsmart! is Canada’s largest Transport Canada Accredited Course Provider and we’re proud to be trusted by more Canadian boaters. Your BOATsmart! Card is also accepted in more than 40 U.S. states. We’ve got you covered.

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Kempenfelt Bay, ON

"Amazing Job!"

“Wow, you guys have done an amazing job! Way more interactive and interesting than 8 years ago when I first took the boat exam. I am very impressed.“

Billy Allen

Pro Wakeborder

BOATsmart! courseware on a tablet.

Watch, Listen & Learn

From anywhere, on any device at any time.

Our animated and narrated Boating Safety Course is perfect for all ages. Study from your Smartphone, Tablet or Desktop and switch between devices at any time. BOATsmart! automatically tracks your progress so you can study at your own pace.

Northwest Territories Boating License Requirements

WHAT IS A PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATOR CARD?

A Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) is commonly known as a boating license. It’s a federally mandated competency card required for operators of motorized recreational boats in Canada. You are required to carry your PCOC on board at all times during boat operation however, unlike your driver’s license the card cannot be suspended or revoked and is good for life.

WHERE CAN I GET MY NWT BOATING LICENSE?

Take the online BOATsmart! Course and Transport Canada Boating Safety Test to get certified with your Pleasure Craft Operator Card. Once you’ve successfully completed the course and test, you can print your Temporary Card immediately. You’ll get your permanent BOATsmart! Boat License in the mail within 4 weeks.

HOW OLD DO I HAVE TO BE TO GET A BOATING LICENSE IN NORTHWEST TERRITORIES?

Age and horsepower restrictions apply to boaters who are less than 16 years of age however, there is no minimum age to obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card. All operators of recreational motorized boats in Canada are required to be certified with their PCOC. For more information on engine horsepower restrictions see below. 

AGE AND HORSEPOWER RESTRICTIONS

No children under 12 years of age can operate a powerboat with a more than 10 horsepower engine.

Youths, aged 12 to 15 may only operate a boat with a motor up to 40 horsepower unsupervised.

Operators must be at least 16 years of age to operate a personal watercraft, such as a Jet Ski or Sea Doo.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY BOATING LICENSE?

It takes a minimum of three hours to get your Boating License Online. Once boaters have completed the course and Transport Canada Boating Safety Test they can print their Temporary Pleasure Craft Operator Card Immediately. The permanent boating license will arrive in the mail within 4 weeks. Although the online course is the fastest way to get certified, boaters can also sign up for in-person classroom courses to get their license.

CAN I GET REFRESHER LESSONS AFTER TAKING THE BOATING COURSE?

It’s important to keep up-to-date on boating laws and regulations in NWT, including boating safety equipment requirements, boat licensing requirements, and collision regulations. BOATsmart! has got you covered, with a free BOATsmart! Knowledge Base that includes everything you need to know about boating safety in the Northwest Territories. Boaters in NWT can also purchase the printed BOATsmart! Study Guide. Keep a copy at the cabin, or on your boat to reference the latest regulations. The BOATsmart! Study Guide is available online and at Canadian Tire.

DO I NEED A LICENSE TO RENT A BOAT IN NORTHWEST TERRITORIES?

All boat operators in the Northwest Territories should obtain their Pleasure Craft Operator Card to ensure that they have all of the knowledge they need to boat safely. However, you are not required to obtain your boating license to rent a boat in the Northwest Territories. Boat operators may choose to complete a boat rental safety checklist to legally operate a rented boat. But keep in mind that a rental safety checklist won’t tell you how to rescue a person overboard, or what to do in the event of a collision. 

Boating and alcohol in Northwest Territories

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES BOATING AND ALCOHOL LAWS

It is illegal to operate a vessel in the Northwest Territories while consuming alcohol. Boat passengers may consume alcohol on board a boat in NWT so long as the boat is licensed for alcohol consumption, or the boat has a permanent toilet, cooking facilities, sleeping facilities and it is anchored or docked.

Contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for more information about the laws for boating with alcohol in The Northwest Territories.

 

 

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES  BOATING AND ALCOHOL LAWS

The fines and penalties for driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol in The Northwest Territories are the same as those for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

A boat operator’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level cannot exceed 80 mg. This is the legal alcohol limit in The Northwest Territories.

There is NO difference between drunk driving & drunk boating.

Age & Horsepower Restrictions

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12 YEARS OF AGE & UNDER

Can operate a boat without supervision so long as the engine is not more than 10 horsepower and they have proof of competency. Boaters 12 years of age and under are not allowed to operate a PWC under any conditions.  

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12-16 years of age

Can operate a boat without supervision as long as the engine is not more than 40 horsepower and they have proof of competency. They are not allowed to operate a PWC under any conditions.

Silhouette of an onboard motor larger than 40 litres

16+ YEARS OF AGE

Can operate a boat or PWC without supervision or horsepower restrictions so long as they have proof of competency.

A Boatsmart Canada pleasure craft operator card

ALL OPERATORS

All boat operators in provinces and territories except Nunavut and Northwest Territories regardless of age are required to obtain and carry a Pleasure Craft Operator Card or face a minimum $250 fine.

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Northwest Territories's Boating Fines

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$999

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General Boating Northwest Territories FAQs

WHO ENFORCES NORTHWEST TERRITORIES’ BOATING LAWS?

Both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and local municipal police detachments patrol Northwest Territories’ waterways.

Boating Emergencies:
Call 911 for emergencies on the water, like a boating accident or drowning.

DO I NEED A BOATING LICENSE IN NWT?

It is not mandatory to carry proof of competency (Canada’s Pleasure Craft Operator Card) when operating a motorized boat in Northwest Territories. However, taking Canada’s Online Boat License Course is a great way to ensure you’ve got the knowledge you need to boat safely. Obtaining your Pleasure Craft Operator Card also ensures you’ve met the legal boat license requirements when travelling to Canadian provinces to go boating.

How To Get a Boat License in the Northwest Territories

DO I NEED A PLEASURE CRAFT LICENSE? 

All motorized boats and PWCs in NWT powered by 10 horsepower or more are required to have a Pleasure Craft License. The number must be displayed on both sides of the bow, above the waterline, as far forward as possible, in block letters at least 7.5cm high that contrast with the colour of the boat.

HOW DO I GET A PLEASURE CRAFT LICENSE?

You can obtain a 10 year license for free from Service Canada. There are two ways obtain the license:

Option 1: Apply for a free Pleasure Craft License online.

Option 2: Download a paper application form and mail the completed form to the Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre at the following address:

Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre
P.O. Box 2006
Fredericton, New Brunswick
E3B 5G4

REGISTERING YOUR BOAT

Registering your boat is different than obtaining a Pleasure Craft License for your boat. There are added benefits to registering your boat.

BUYING A NEW OR USED BOAT IN NWT

Buying a boat in NWT? Whether it’s a brand new boat from a dealership or a used vessel, you’re required to obtain a Pleasure Craft License. You are also required by law to ensure you carry on board all of the required boating safety equipment for the type and size of vessel. 

A Pleasure Craft License or ‘boat license’ is a document and a set of I.D. numbers for your vessel. The document must be on board your boat at all times and the numbers must be displayed on the bow of your boat at all times.

 

Welcome To Canada’s Last Fontier

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Northwest Territories Boating Destinations

The Northwest Territories are home to the vast and beautiful Great Slave Lake! Surrounded by thick boreal forests you can explore this waterway for weeks and never see the same spot twice! The eastern end of the lake is home to plunging cliffs, incredibly deep waters, and enormous sportfish! At the north end of Great Slave lake you’ll find the Caribbean-coloured waters and giant pike that will put up a fight! Canada’s NWT is the avid angler’s dream spot for great fishing up north! Remember to check the fishing regulations for the Northwest Territories before you cast a line!

Below are a few of the top boating destinations in Northwest Territories to add to your list. Happy boating!

Helpful resources for boating in Northwest Territories