First-Time Registration – What You Need to Know

canadian vessel registry first time registration

The system for registering vessels in Canada can sometimes be confusing to boat owners, especially for first-time registration. The reason for this is that the overall process can be restrictive, more expensive and challenging than any other system. Nevertheless, vessel registration offers many benefits.

Registering Your Vessel And Its Benefits

There are costs involved if you register your vessel. However, the benefits would outweigh the costs, especially if you used your boat in international waters. One of them is that your registration can be presented as a proof of ownership.

When registering your boat, you will have to submit three names for your boat. Then, a registration fee of $250 is required. You may pay by Visa, AMEX or Mastercard.

You also have to complete an application for registry and send it to your Port of Registry.

first-time registration

Proof Of Ownership

It could be the original Bill of Sale from the last owner. A Canadian consular officer must authenticate it.

You must also submit a Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration.


You should also have your boat measured for capacity. It is determined using the Assigned Formal Tonnage or a duly appointed Tonnage Measurer.

If your vessel is not more than 12 meters in length, you can opt for the Assigned Formal Tonnage, which means linking it to the length of your ship.

If you need to measure it by a Tonnage Measurer, you could contact your Port of Registry.

Where to obtain the registration forms?

They are available from any Port of Registry in Canada. To make it more convenient for you, you may get it from Canadian Vessel Registry Center’s website.

Certificate of Registry Renewal

The issued Certificate of Registry is good for three years. A renewal certificate is issued to the owner or his/her representative a month before the expiration date.

It is important that you do not change the details in the first-time registration. Any changes made should be reported in writing to the Registrar at the Port of Registry you chose, within 30 days of the alterations made.

If you failed to report the changes, it might result in cancellation or suspension of the certificate of Registry making it invalid. If you operate a ship with no valid document, then you are liable to prosecution.

To help you out with your registration, please contact National Vessel Registry Center, Corp at 1-866-981-8783.