Getting to Know the Transport Canada Vessel Registration Process

transport canada vessel registration

Are you thinking about purchasing a brand new boat? If so, you have probably begun the process of researching which type of vessel is right for you. Of course, you have probably also discovered that there are nearly an infinite number of possibilities when it comes to makes and models. What you ultimately decide on to be right for your needs will largely come down to what you plan to use your boat for. Are you an avid fisherman? In that case, there are a wide array of different types of fishing boats out there, so you will have no shortage of options. Maybe you are just keen on sightseeing and relaxing out on the water? In this scenario, you may find that a pontoon checks all of your boxes. Perhaps your ambitions are a bit more grand, or you are using your boat for commercial charters? Well, there are plenty of boats out there for those purposes as well. Regardless of what type of boat you land on, you are going to need to find a seller near you and do your best to negotiate a fair price. Once you have done that, you may also need to complete an application for a Transport Canada vessel registration before you can leave the dock. Fortunately, at the National Vessel Registry Center, we can help you do this online.

Whether you are new to boating or if you have some experience, you are probably at least somewhat familiar with the concept of documenting a boat. After all, we are talking about large, motorized vessels that can carry passengers, so it stands to reason that Canadian authorities would require some mode of registration. Transport Canada is the agency that is tasked with managing a registry of vessels operating on our waters, and they also provide pleasure craft licenses (PCLs) and pleasure craft operator cards (PCOCs). While these documents can sound somewhat similar in name, they do serve different purposes. For example, a PCL is a license that applies to recreational vessels with engines of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more–though they are available to all. A PCOC, on the other hand, is sort of like a driver’s license for a boat, in that it demonstrates you have a basic competency for safely operating a motorized vessel. You can get your PCOC free of charge from Transport Canada by completing an instructional course and passing the requisite exam. A Transport Canada vessel registration, though, only applies to certain types of vessels–read on to learn whether or not your boat requires this document.

Is a Transport Canada Vessel Registration Right for You?

Before you set out to apply for a Transport Canada vessel registration, you should probably determine whether or not your boat requires it. In Canada, any boat that is used for any sort of commercial purposes will need to enter the National Vessel Registry. This is also true for any boats that will be sailing on international waters under the Canadian flag, as well as any vessels that are financed with a marine mortgage. While vessel registration is required for certain boats, it is a mode of documentation that is available to all, and there are some benefits that come with it. For example, a registered vessel is issued a completely unique name. If you are looking to stand out from your peers down at the dock, or if you want to put a truly individualized stamp on your vessel, this may be the move for you. Also, a registered vessel can proudly fly the Canadian flag, which also allows you to move somewhat more freely through international ports.

Whether you are looking to register your boat out of necessity, or if you are simply attracted to the benefits and peace of mind it can provide, there is a process to follow. For starters, you will need to complete a Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration along with a Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration. You will also need to submit a tonnage measurement and photographs of all four sides of your vessel to Transport Canada for processing. You can fill out these documents by hand after printing them out from Transport Canada’s website and mail them in, or you can work with us and complete this process in a more streamlined manner.

transport canada vessel registration

Register Your Boat Online Today by Using Our Forms

Save yourself the hassle of printing out a bunch of paperwork and making a trip to the post office. At the National Vessel Registry Center, we have easy-to-fill forms for all of your Transport Canada documentation concerns. To learn more, take a few minutes to explore our website, or check our F.A.Q-section.