A Guide on Canadian Boat Official Number

boat's official number

Maybe the time has come for you to dive right into buying a boat, or maybe you just want to know more about the necessary documentation before making a purchase.  Either way, you must be certain to have certain requirements in order, such as having your boat’s official number and obtaining a license as your next steps after you’ve made the purchase. In Canada, you must approach Transport Canada to receive the necessary permits and licenses you need since, for example, a registration number is different from an official number, and getting a boat license is distinct from getting a boating license.

By now, you’re probably picturing that spending time on the lakes and rivers throughout the year would be enjoyable for you, your family, and your friends. Imagine how much fun it would be to go fishing, water skiing, traveling, or just spending a quiet day on a neighboring lake or river. If sailing is new to you, you may feel overwhelmed by all there is to learn. You probably got a quick lesson in the various types of pleasure craft available when you were looking for a boat to buy. You have probably also learned a little bit about the basics of boat maintenance and cleaning procedures. However, we’ve still prepared a small guide on Canadian official numbers and all that there is to it. 

Introduction to a Boat’s Official Number

You must register just about any motorized vessel you buy in Canada with the proper transportation authority. If your boat is new, you will need to register it for the first time with Transport Canada. There is a transfer of ownership procedure that must be done with the current Pleasure Craft License if you are purchasing a used boat (PCL). The official number of your vessel will be on the certificate of registration you get from Transport Canada once the ownership transfer is successfully completed.

In addition to receiving the official name of your boat when you register it with Transport Canada , you will also obtain a registration number that will help the agency and law enforcement officials identify your boat if they ever need to. Your boat will be easier to locate for government and law enforcement officials with the help of your official number. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that this is not the same number that can be seen on the outside of your boat. It’s easy to see how this may become confusing.

Obtaining a Canadian Boat Official Number

The National Vessel Registry Center Corp. has made the required forms available online on our website to assist you in the process of receiving your Canadian official number on your vessel. You can complete the forms and provide your payment information; we will then take it from there, verify the information, and forward it to Transport Canada for processing. You will find everything to be easy and straightforward, so you may obtain the formal registration you require. Call us at (800) 419-9569 if you need any assistance with vessel registration or licensing (Canada). You can contact us through our online contact form for anything else.

The Meaning of the Numbers

Registration numbers typically begin with two letters that identify the province in which the vessel is registered. They also contain seven unique digits. They identify the boat as being registered with Transport Canada and are specific to each boat that wears them.

Larger commercial ships occasionally start out with just the letter “C.” Regardless of size, a boat’s registration number serves the same function as proof of ownership and identification with the Canadian government.

How to Use This Number

As we have mentioned earlier, there are some fundamental differences between the official number and the boat’s registration number. You must display your official number (with the O.N.) in an easily visible location inside your boat. Make sure that the height of this series of digits is at least four centimeters.

As far as your official boat registration number, you must put it on both sides of the bow. The number must be printed in legible block letters that are at least 7.5 cm high and above the waterline. The number must be written on the ship in a color that contrasts with the bow, so if the bow is black, writing in white is the most obvious choice. There are no restrictions on the number’s width as long as it can be seen against the ship’s bow.

boat official number

Obtaining a Canadian Official Number

You can get all the help and tools you need at the National Vessel Registry Center if you wish to begin the process of getting a boat identification number from Transport Canada. Our specialists have dealt with similar situations before and can help you obtain the number quickly without needing to reapply. We simplify the application process, so get in touch with us right away by calling (800) 419-9569 or using our online form.