Ontario is known as a boater’s paradise for good reason. With more than 250,000 freshwater lakes, this Canadian province is home to nearly one-fifth of the entire world’s freshwater supply. As you can likely imagine, such a great bounty of lakes affords ample opportunities for Canadian boaters. If you are thinking about purchasing a vessel in Ontario, or if you are simply looking to hitch your boat to your truck and visit, you are going to want to verify whether or not you require a Pleasure Craft License (PCL). While a PCL will cover most boat documentation needs, there is also the possibility that you will require a vessel registration Ontario. By making sure that your boat has the proper documents onboard, you can relax knowing that you are boating in proper alignment with Canadian law.
Whether you require a PCL or a vessel registration, you will need to work with Transport Canada. This government agency is charged with managing all transportation matters on both land and water in Canada. As a part of these duties, they issue boat licenses and maintain the national vessel registry. If you plan to operate a boat on Canadian waters, you can expect to deal with Transport Canada from time to time.
Who Requires Vessel Registration in Ontario?
While it may sound like something that all boats require, vessel registration is actually only merited in specific circumstances. If your boat is financed with a marine mortgage, or if you are traveling abroad under the Canadian flag, carrying a vessel registration is mandatory. Additionally, you will need to register your vessel if you plan on engaging in any sort of commercial activity.
In order to enter the Small Vessel Registry, you will need to complete a Form 1 – Application for Registry with Transport Canada. You will also need to provide a Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration, a tonnage measurement, and proof of ownership (typically a bill of sale). Once processed, you will be given a completely unique name of your choice to place on your boat. Vessel registration is available to all boaters in Canada.
What Is a Pleasure Craft License?
A PCL is applicable to most motorized vessels used for recreational purposes in Canada. Specifically, they are required for any boat with an engine of 10 or more horsepower (7.5 kW). You can obtain your PCL by completing an Application for a Pleasure Craft License with Transport Canada. Once issued, you will be given a registration number which must be displayed on both sides of your boat’s bow in three-inch letters well above the water line.
Get Your Vessel Registration or PCL Online!
At the National Vessel Registry Center, we can help you register your vessel or apply for a Pleasure Craft License online. We use easy-to-fill streamlined web forms that you can process securely through our SSL-encrypted web portal. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions, please contact one of our friendly customer service representatives by phone or email today.