Are you looking for a new hobby that allows you to enjoy the great Canadian outdoors? Maybe you have a passion for fishing or watersports and would like to spend more of your leisure time on those activities. When you own your own boat, you have the freedom to venture out onto the lake or ocean whenever the urge should strike you. There are not many better ways to enjoy the natural beauty that Canada has to offer than spending a day out on the water. Of course, purchasing a boat of your own is no minor investment. Not too dissimilar to the process of buying a car, you are going to want to perform ample due diligence before pulling the trigger on a vessel, be it brand new or previously owned. As you can probably imagine, there are all types of different boats out there, from small kayaks to massive yachts, and what you end up purchasing will largely depend on your boating needs. Once you have landed on the right type of vessel for you, and you have scoured online and print listings, you can negotiate a price with the seller and assume ownership of your new boat. There may, however, be some paperwork to complete at the outset, such as a Transport Canada boat registration.
Remember how excited you were when you first got your driver’s license? You finally had the liberty of driving wherever you wanted to go, whenever you felt like it. Getting your license, however, called for learning the rules of the road and taking a driving exam. There is a similar process involved in obtaining a boating license, also called a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). This document shows that you have a basic competency for operating a motorized vessel, and it–like other vessel documentation–is issued by Transport Canada. While your PCOC may represent the beginning of your journey with Transport Canada paperwork, chances are, it will not be the finish line. As Canada’s primary agency for all transportation matters on both land and sea, Transport Canada has thousands of employees. One of this agency’s key duties is issuing pleasure craft licenses (PCLs), PCOCs, and vessel registrations. Read on to learn more about obtaining a Transport Canada boat registration.
Does Your Vessel Require a Pleasure Craft License?
Before you start filling out applications and registration forms, you will want to have a clear idea of exactly what your boat will require. Transport Canada issues different forms of documentation to vessels largely based on what they are used for. If you are like most boat owners in Canada, your vessel will likely be a vehicle of leisure. In this case, you will want to obtain a pleasure craft license. To be a bit more precise, any boat with an engine of 10 or more horsepower (7.5 kW) will need to apply for a PCL. Any boat, however, can seek and obtain a PCL, and many boat owners find there is peace of mind in having their vessel documented with Transport Canada. In the event that your boat is stolen or goes missing, having a PCL can help its location authorities.
To get your PCL, you will need to complete an application, and provide proof of ownership and a photograph of your vessel to Transport Canada. Once processed, your PCL will give your boat a registration number, which must be displayed on both sides of its bow. PCLs are valid for a period of ten years, at which point a renewal request can be submitted.
The Value of a Transport Canada Boat Registration
If you are planning to use your boat for commercial means, or if it is financed with a marine mortgage, it will require a Transport Canada boat registration. This will also be the case if you plan to use your vessel on international waters while flying the Canadian flag. To obtain your vessel registration documents, you will need to submit Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration, as well as Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration to Transport Canada. Additionally, you will need to provide a tonnage measurement, along with photographs of all four sides of your vessel. Once issued, your registration will grant your vessel a completely unique name of your choosing, as well as an official number.
Whether you need a PCL or a vessel registration, there are a couple of different pathways available for obtaining the documents you need. You can fill out paper applications and mail them to Transport Canada’s office in Ottawa for processing, or you can work with a private online service such as ours at the National Vessel Registry Center. We have easy-to-fill online forms for all of your Transport Canada documentation needs. To learn more about how we can help you, take a moment to explore our website.