The ROC license is a Canadian Federal government-issued card that allows you to operate a marine VHF radio.

As a result of a partnership between Sail Canada and the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, all current Sail Canada instructors with a Maritime Radio Certificate with DSC Endorsement and a CANSail 3 & 4 Instructor certification, Basic Powerboat Instructor and/or a Basic Cruising Instructor certification can instruct the Maritime Radio License Course and deliver the exam. Please contact to request certification as an ROCM Instructor if you meet these requirements or with additional questions.


ROC stands for Restricted Radiotelephone Operator’s Certificate and is required by
Anyone using a marine VHF radio or other marine radios (each person on the boat who will use the radio needs their own card). There are significant fines if you are found using a VHF or marine radio without your card.

In addition, if you received your ROC card before the new Digital Selective Calling was introduced, then you are encouraged to return and get your DSC endorsement for your ROC card.

All new VHF radios are now sold with a DSC function that will greatly enhance rescue personnel’s ability to assist you in an emergency. Understanding this technology and how to operate it can, in some circumstances, mean the difference between life and death.


Click here to find an instructor running the ROC(M) Course in your area.

US Travel Information
A station licence is not required for Canadian boaters in Canadian waters, but you will need a VHF Station Licence if you plan to voyage in US waters. Plans for a reciprocal agreement relieving Canadian boaters of this requirement were abandoned due to the change in security attitudes following 9/11.