The best way to enjoy British Columbia and all of its beauty is on the water, and it’s easiest to enjoy the province when the waterways are safe. In BC, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are responsible for keeping both our highways and waterways safe by enforcing both the road laws and the Canada Marine Act. In order to maintain the safety of the waterways, the RCMP are permitted to monitor your boating habits and inspect your vehicle if necessary. These fines can be applied to both the owner and operator of the vessel, and can be increased if the boater is in violation of speed limits. Make sure you know the laws of the water and the associated punishments so you can be a safe and smart British Columbia boater.

  • Boating underage – $250
  • Operator is violating horsepower restrictions$250
  • Operator is boating without their boating license (Pleasure Craft Operator Card) – $250
  • Careless boating – $350
  • Underage boating on a PWC (Personal Watercraft) – $250
    • PWCs include: Sea-doos, waterscooters, boatercycles, jet skis, and wave runners
  • Equipment is inoperative, inaccessible, or not on board – $200
  • Unsafe boating – $500
  • No Canadian-approved lifejackets or PFDs on board – $200
    • NOTE: Fine is multiplied by how many passengers do not have a flotation device
  • No spotter for passengers in tow – $250
  • No seating for passengers in tow – $250

These fines and punishments are in place to make sure that boating in the province of British Columbia remains a safe and enjoyable pastime and lifestyle for our residents. If you have questions or concerns about these fines or the specifics of the rules, contact the RCMP for further information on the rules and regulations on BC waterways. How do you avoid the fines? If you take a Transport Canada approved boating safety course, you will be taught exactly how to be a safe and responsible boater in British Columbia – you will also avoid the $250 fine associated with boating without a license. Take the test, get the knowledge and become a certified boater today.


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