All archaeologists who carry out fieldwork in Ontario are required by law to hold a ministry-issued archaeological licence.

This licence is free and is valid for up to three years. All licensed archaeologists carry a licence card.

Licensed archaeologists must abide by the Terms and Conditions for Archaeological Licences. Consultant archaeologists must follow the Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists.

Types of licences

There are three types of land-based archaeological licences:

  • Professional, for consultants and academic researchers
  • Applied Research, for field directors under a Professional licensee, and researchers
  • Avocational, for field crew or anyone interested in archaeology

Please see the Land-Based Licensing Bulletin for more detailed information about the three classes of licence.

Marine archaeology licences

The marine licensing program is different from the land-based system. Email us at for more information and licence application forms.

How to apply for a licence

Creating a ONe-key account is the first step to enroll in PastPort.

A ONe-key account gives you secure access to Ontario Government ONe-key enabled programs and services. After creating your One-key account and logging in, you will find PastPort in the list called Available Services in the left menu.

If you need help creating a PastPort account, please contact us.

How to renew a licence

All licences must be renewed in PastPort. PastPort will alert you when it is time to renew your licence.

Instructions for renewing your licence can be found in “PastPort Licence Renewal Quick Reference Guide” in PastPort’s Reference Centre.

Learn more about archaeological licence renewal.


The ministry has developed an information bulletin for archaeologists already licensed by the ministry and for those interested in applying for a licence.

The bulletin provides information about the ministry’s role in licensing, the application and renewal process, and the obligations associated with having a licence.