Canada is home to hundreds of thousands of freshwater lakes. If you are an avid fisherman or boater, there is no place on Earth quite like our humble, northern nation. If you are looking to explore Canada’s bountiful bodies of water, the best avenue for doing so is purchasing your very own boat. When you own your own vessel, you have the freedom to untie from any dock you see fit, allowing you to make waves and memories with your friends and loved ones. Buying a boat can be a significant investment–even on the lower end, they can cost as much as a used car, while mega yachts can fetch price tags in the millions. Before you can close the deal on the boat of your dreams, it is important to determine which make and model is right for you. There are thousands of different types of boats out there, so you should prepare to buckle down and do some serious research. Once you have identified what you want, you can browse online and print listings for new or used boats. You can then negotiate a price and gain the keys to your new vessel. Ahead of hitting the marina, though, you need to make sure that you have the proper Transport Canada documents in order to legally operate your boat, and we can help.
Canada’s lakes, rivers, and coastlines are great sources of national pride–and for good reason. These pristine bodies of water offer truly breathtaking vistas, and it is paramount that they are preserved for the enjoyment of future generations of Canadians. Transport Canada, which is the nation’s central transportation agency for both land and sea, is responsible for managing the infrastructure of our waters and crafting laws and regulations. One way in which they accomplish this is by documenting vessels, issuing licenses, and maintaining a thorough vessel registry. In your time as a boat owner, you will need to work with Transport Canada from time to time, most commonly by obtaining boat or boating licenses. Some vessels will also require the step of applying for registration. At the National Vessel Registry Center, our online forms can help you apply for the documents you need with just a few clicks–read on to learn more.
Obtaining a Transport Canada Pleasure Craft License
While owning a boat is a great privilege, it also comes with a great amount of responsibility. You owe it to yourself and your passengers to have thorough competency when it comes to operating a vessel. A boating license, which is officially called a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC), is sort of like a driver’s license for operating a boat. You can obtain a PCOC free of charge from Transport Canada by completing an educational course and passing a subsequent exam.
A boat license applies to your vessel. This document is technically called a pleasure craft license (PCL). PCLs are available to all boats in Canada, though they are required for any motorized vessel that contains an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more. A PCL will provide your boat with a registration number, which must be displayed on both sides of your boat’s bow in letters of at least three inches in height. PCLs are valid for a period of 10 years, at which point a renewal request can be submitted.
A Note on Vessel Registration
If your boat will be used to travel internationally under the Canadian flag, you will need to submit a Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration to the Canadian government. This is also true for any vessel financed with a marine mortgage, or boats that are used for any sort of commercial means. When you register your vessel, you are given a completely unique boat moniker of your choosing, along with an official number.
In addition to Form 1, you will also need to complete Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration, as well as a tonnage measurement. As a part of your application package, you will also need four photographs of your vessel (one of each side). You can submit these documents by printing out paper applications, inking them by hand, and mailing them to the appropriate government office in Ottawa. If that sounds like a bit of a hassle, though, you will be happy to learn that there is a simpler, online solution.
Process Your Documents Online
At the National Vessel Registry Center, we built our business with the busy boat owner in mind. We have easy-to-fill web forms for all of your vessel documentation needs. By working with us, you can process your applications in just minutes, allowing you to spend more time out on the water. To learn more about what we can do for you, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.