Getting a Pleasure Craft License and Always Keeping it Up to Date

pleasure craft license

If you own a vessel that you use either recreationally or to live in, you will need to have a pleasure craft license. The process to either get one or modify it is not complicated, but it will always call for you to fill out some forms. Let’s go over what that entails.

What is a Pleasure Craft License?

Under Transport Canada’s boating documentation guidelines, a pleasure craft license is a document with a unique identifying number for a vessel, specifically, well, a pleasure craft. This allows you to have a distinct number attached to your vessel in order to properly identify it in situations such as searches and rescues. Thanks to this, the qualifying personnel will be able to find and access relevant information in a quick and prompt manner. Know that this license is attached to both you and your vessel, so a change is 

How to Transfer it?

So, if the pleasure craft license is tied to your ownership, what happens when changes need to be made to who owns it? Well, it depends. Are you adding or removing an owner? Or are you transferring the vessel ownership fully onto someone else? Either way, you will have to submit a form for a transfer of license. Just be sure to fill it out properly according to your situation.

When to Renew it?

If you have a craft license that was either issued or updated after 2010, it will be valid for a period of ten years. That means that the renewal date is coming up for a lot of these. In order to renew your pleasure craft license, you will have to submit a renewal application, which will be available within three months of the expiration date. Be sure to wait until you are at least three months away from the expiration date in order to apply for a renewal.

How to Replace it?

It’s important to know that the physical copy of your pleasure craft license that you receive from Transport Canada is the only valid iteration of it. This means that if you lose it or damage it beyond use, then you will need to get a new official copy. You don’t need to apply for a new registration altogether, but you will need to fill out a specific form to request a replacement of the license.

When to Update it?

Your craft license should always be up to date in terms of your personal information and the specifics of the vessel itself, so if anything changes you should make sure you update the license. There is going to be a specific form for that too so that you don’t have to re-register the vessel simply because you moved. Should your address change or modifications to the vessel be made, update your pleasure craft license to avoid any trouble with it in the future.

National Vessel Registry Center

Whatever you need to do in regards to your pleasure craft license, we at the National Vessel Registry Center have what you need. All relevant forms are readily available on our website for you to fill out. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by calling +1 (800) 419-9569 or emailing us at