How Do You Get Boat Registration Numbers?

Boat Registration Numbers

With the summer months quickly approaching, you may find yourself looking for new ways to spend time in the great Canadian outdoors. In terms of leisure activities that allow you to reconnect with nature, it is tough to beat boating. Picture it now: you are out on the water, the cooler is full of drinks and snacks, and you and your loved ones are making waves and memories. What better way to spend a warm afternoon? Well, if this sounds appealing to you, you are going to want to research the prospect of purchasing a boat. This is not exactly a minor undertaking, as there are a vast array of different types of boats out on the market. Once you have located the vessel for you, though, and finalized the transaction, you are nearly ready to hit the water. First, however, you are going to want to make sure that you have the proper Transport Canada vessel documentation and boat registration numbers.

In a lot of ways, owning a motorized boat is not dissimilar to owning a motor vehicle. For instance, in order to legally drive a car in Canada, you need a driver’s license. Well, the same is true for certain types of boats in that you will need a boating license, which is officially called a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC). PCOCs, like driver’s licenses, are issued after some educational work and passing Transport Canada’s exam. Certain boats also require vessel registrations or pleasure craft licenses (PCLs). Like registering a motor vehicle, these documents apply to your vessel itself, and they feature registration numbers that serve to identify your boat.

Do You Need Boat Registration Numbers?

Whether or not you will need registration numbers to boat in Canada will largely depend on the type of boat you have, as well as what you plan to use it for. If your boat is being used for simple recreational purposes, chances are you can get by with just a pleasure craft license. Specifically, PCLs apply to any motorized vessel with an engine of 7.5 kW or more, though they are available to non-motorized boats as well. A PCL will give your boat a registration number which must be displayed on both sides of the bow in characters of at least three inches in height that clearly contrast with the color of your boat.

Boats that are used for commercial or professional means, as well as boats that are financed with a marine mortgage will require a vessel registration. This will also apply to boats that are traveling internationally under the Canadian flag. Registered vessels are identified primarily by their monikers, but they are also issued an official number (though it does not need to be displayed externally).

Boat Registration Numbers

Get the Documents You Need

If you need a vessel registration or a PCL, we have fillable forms that you can use to apply online. To discover more about how we can help you, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or spend a few minutes exploring our site.