Do Small Boats Need to be Registered?

Small Boats Need to be Registered

So, you have finally done it–you went and bought yourself a boat. Surely, this is an exciting occasion for you and your family. If you are like most boat owners, you probably did a lot of homework before finally making the purchase. You go online and learned about all the different types of vessels available on the market. You made the tough determination about whether or not to buy a new or used boat. You located a seller and successfully negotiated a price that was within your budget. With the keys to your new vessel in your hand and an eye toward the lake, you are probably pretty antsy to get your boat in the water. First, however, you may need to take care of some paperwork pertaining to your boat. You may also be wondering, do small boats need to be registered? It is a fair question, and it is also one that you will want answered before you decide to untie from the dock.

While boats are a great way to enjoy your free time and maximize the warm summer months in Canada, they also come with a pretty significant amount of responsibility. Of course, you understand that you want to do everything in your power to safely operate your boat, especially if you are bringing family and friends on board. A good starting point for responsible boat ownership is obtaining your boating license, which is officially called a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). Your PCOC will show that you have a fundamental competency for safely operating a motorized vessel. Another aspect of responsible boat ownership is staying on top of your licenses and registrations with Transport Canada. By knowing what types of documentation you require–as well as how you can get them online–you can relax on the water with more peace of mind.

Do Small Boats Need to Be Registered? Yes and No

Just what exactly does it mean to register a boat? By placing a boat on Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Registry, you are documenting your vessel with a central authority. When is this a requirement? Well, this is a must for any boats traveling abroad under the Canadian flag, as well as boats that were purchased with a marine mortgage. Vessel registration is also compulsory for all boats used for commercial purposes. These requirements, as you can likely imagine, can apply to boats of all sizes–even small ones. 

If your small boat does indeed require registration, there is a process that you will need to follow. For starters, you will need to fill out Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration. You will also need a Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration. There are also some supplemental materials that you will need to submit to Transport Canada, such as a tonnage measurement and photographs of your vessel.

Small Boats Need to be Registered

Register Your Boat Online

We can help you register your boat online. We can also assist in obtaining a Pleasure Craft License if that is what your boat requires. Take a look around our site to learn more, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.