Boat Registration: Why You Must Have It

Boat Registration

So you finally got that boat you’ve always dreamed of and can’t wait to hit the water for a day or even a week of leisure. Today, the sun is shining on the lake – everything is aglitter! 

Suddenly, something dawns on the horizon. A question pops into your head: “Do I have the necessary boat registration?”

Boating Without Registration 

Suddenly you get a “sinking” feeling. You’re already in the middle of the water and the idea of boating without registration is haunting you. When you realize that you haven’t submitted the paperwork and you’re illegally operating your craft, panic takes a grip.

Nothing, you thought, could stop you from sailing your boat. But you were wrong, you need to apply for a registration number or license number right away. If you don’t want to avoid problems with the marine police, you need to anchor your boat and get online. What you thought was a maiden voyage could turn into stiff penalties, or worse yet, an impoundment.  

Therefore, it’s important to make sure your paperwork is in order if you plan to set sail in Canada. Take care of those formalities first, as it’s always better to be safe than sorry. That’s the best way to boat worry-free.

Legal Consequences for Operating an Unregistered Boat

Having time on the water is awesome, as long as you have registered or licensed your boat. 

Expect to get fined to the tune of $250.00 if you’re caught without the necessary paperwork. 

Possible Problems

What’s even worse is operating a boat without a license or registration and wrecking it. After all, registration is meant to keep everyone safer on the water. If you take this type of chance, an accident can lead to losing your boating privileges and even jail time.

Boat registration is a must. Boating without registration documents is as unsafe as it is irresponsible. Registering your boat ensures compliance with safety standards. It allows authorities to identify you in case of emergencies. Moreover, it contributes towards funding waterway management and law enforcement efforts that are aimed at keeping our lakes and rivers secure to navigate.

Ultimately paying a fee to register your boat is a worthwhile investment. It prevents legal snares and entanglements and costly tickets and fines. It’s part of gaining the peace of mind and freedom you seek by having a boat in Canada

Registration fees go toward programs that enhance search and rescue operations, education initiatives, and infrastructure development.

You want to be both registered and insured. Paying the registration fee is much less than paying the expenses that you may face if you overlook this legal requirement

As noted, in a worst-case scenario, law enforcement can impound your boat. If you can’t reclaim the boat in a certain timeframe or pay the penalties, authorities can sell your vessel to cover the costs of storage.. 

Boat Registration Versus Licensing: Making the Distinction

It’s important to make the distinction between registration and getting a pleasure craft license. You cannot register and license your boat simultaneously. You have to choose one or the other. If you’re financing your boat, you’ll need to get registered.

Both the registration and license allow you to identify your boat. If you license the boat, you’ll receive a unique number to display on the watercraft. You will also get a number for registering your boat that you can display on the boat’s exterior. 

Registering your boat allows you to name your boat and fly the Canadian flag. It’s much easier to navigate international waters when your boat is registered.

Registration and Licence Number Identifications

If you choose to license your boat (the less expensive, more affordable alternative)  or register your boat, it must be equipped with at least a 10 horsepower engine (7.5 kW). If the vessel is licensed, you’ll receive an identification number that is a combination of letters and numbers that do not begin with the letter “C.”

If your boat is registered, you’ll display the boat’s official registration number and its port of registry. For example, you may display a name like “The Little Mermaid,” and Vancouver, BC for the port of entry. 

These items are shown as well as a number. The net registered tonnage and official number should be kept onboard when sailing.

Boat Registration

Get Registered or Licensed Now

You can get more details when you fill out the boat registration/license application on the Canadian Vessel Registry. Play it safe at all times. Make sure you have all your documentation in order before you begin on an adventure on Canadian or distant waters. Don’t get boating without registration information or a license. Apply for a boat registration or license today.