Can You Get a Transport Canada Boat Registration Online?

Transport Canada Boat Registration Online

When you have a boat all your own, you can enjoy a certain sense of freedom. Provided the weather is agreeable, you can venture out onto the water with no hesitation, whenever the urge should strike you. Whether you use your boat for leisure activities, fishing, or if it is an integral part of your business, there is nothing quite like the feeling of the sun on your face when you are out on the open water. In Canada, with our hundreds of thousands of lakes and vast, expansive coastlines, you will never run out of places to launch your vessel. As you likely know, our pristine waterways are a great source of national pride, so it only makes sense that all Canadians have a duty to preserve and protect them for future boaters and fishermen to enjoy. With this in mind, Transport Canada, which is the nation’s primary transportation agency for matters of both land and sea, is tasked with crafting and enforcing regulations that protect our waters. One way in which they accomplish this is by assigning boaters and boats various modes of vessel documentation, including the standard Transport Canada boat registration.

If you put some thought into it, a boat is a pretty significant investment. In fact, depending on its scale, a vessel may be one of the largest purchases you ever make in your entire life. Of course, considering this fact, finalizing a deal on a new or previously owned vessel should be the result of a fair amount of due diligence. For example, you will want to get to know the various different manufacturers and makes of boats. Depending on what you plan to use your vessel for, you should be able to hone in on a few specific models that are right for you. With an idea of what you want, you can then browse print and online listings to find a seller near you. After you have agreed upon a price, you can close the deal and hitch your new boat up to your truck. Before you launch into the lake, however, you may want to verify whether or not you need a Transport Canada boat registration. Read on to learn more about this document as well as how you can obtain yours online.

What is a Transport Canada Boat Registration?

If you have purchased an automobile before, you know that it is required by law that you carry a motor vehicle registration. Well, in the boating community, there is a similar process that takes place, and depending on what your boat is used for, you may find yourself needing a boat license, a boating license, or a vessel registration. 

A boat license, which is also called a pleasure craft license (PCL), documents your boat with Transport Canada. As its name implies, a PCL is applicable to boats used for recreational purposes, more specifically, any motorized pleasure craft with an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more. When you obtain a PCL, you are given a registration number, which must be externally displayed on both sides of your boat’s bow in digits of at least three inches in height.

A boating license is sort of like a driver’s license, but for boats. This document is technically called a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC) and it is issued by Transport Canada. You can get your PCOC by enrolling in a brief educational course and passing the subsequent exam.

Vessel registration applies to any boat that is used for commercial purposes on Canadian waters. You will also require a Transport Canada boat registration if your vessel was financed via a bank loan, or if you will be travelling internationally under the Canadian flag. When you register your boat, you are given a completely unique vessel moniker of your choosing, along with an official number.

 Transport Canada Boat Registration Online

How to Apply for Vessel Registration Online

To obtain your vessel registration, there is a process that you will need to complete. First, you will need to fill out what is called Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration. You will also need to complete Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration. In addition, Transport Canada will ask for a tonnage measurement and photographs of all four sides of your vessel. Once your application package has been completed, you can mail it to Transport Canada’s offices in Ottawa for processing.

There is also an easier way–working with us! We have online forms that you can use to apply for vessel registration with just a few clicks. You can also use our SSL-encrypted web portal to upload your supplemental materials. Whether you need a boat registration, a pleasure craft license, or more, we have the web forms you need. To learn more about our services, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.