Does Your Vessel Need a Canadian Boat License?

Canadian Boat License

As we cruise on into another Canadian boating season, you may find that the waves are calling your name. Staring out at the lake from your dock, you are probably pretty eager to get your boat in the water and start making lasting memories with your loved ones. Of course, as you may know, gearing up for any boating season means doing a bit of prep work. First, you will need to get your boat out of its winter storage. This task typically comes with a fair amount of cleaning. You may also want to check where you are at with your routine structural and engine maintenance. Once your boat is launched, you can get to the more fun stuff, such as stocking your cooler with beverages and snacks and packing up your fishing gear or water toys. You may also find, though, that you need to handle some paperwork matters with Transport Canada. If you are somewhat new to boating, or if you have recently upgraded your vessel, this may mean applying for a Canadian boat license

Of course, nobody buys a boat because they are passionate about filling out paperwork. Still, it is your duty as a responsible boat owner to stay on top of your Transport Canada documentation. As the nation’s central transportation agency for all matters on both land and at sea, Transport Canada issues pleasure craft licenses (PCLs), vessel registrations, pleasure craft operator cards (PCOCs), and more. Fortunately, though, there are ways in which you can complete all of this paperwork online with just a few clicks. In fact, by working with a private service such as ours at the National Vessel Registry Center, you can save yourself valuable time–time that you can better spend out on the lake.

What is a Canadian Boat License? Can You Get One Online?

A boat license, which is officially referred to as a PCL, is essentially a registration document for your vessel that is issued by Transport Canada. While the names are similar, this should not be confused with a boating license, which is technically called a PCOC. PCOCs are sort of like a driver’s license for a boat, and they are obtained by taking a brief education course and passing a subsequent exam. PCLs, on the other hand, are acquired by filling out an application and submitting some supplemental materials to Transport Canada.

PCLs are required for any boat that has an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more. You should know, though, that any boat can receive a PCL, and many boat owners find there is peace of mind to be obtained by licensing a boat. You can use our streamlined, easy-to-fill web forms to apply for your PCL online in just a matter of minutes.

Canadian Boat License

Online PCLs, Registrations, and More!

At the National Vessel Registry Center, we have web forms for all of your vessel documentation needs. You can visit our helpful Frequently Asked Questions page, or take a few minutes to explore our site to learn more about how we can help you.