How to Apply for a Commercial Vessel License

Commercial Vessel License

Do you consider boating to be one of your primary passions? Do you spend every free moment you have–nights, weekends, vacations–out on the water? If so, you may have thought about taking the next step and turning boating into a career. Perhaps you are interested in starting a commercial fishing business, or you plan to run sightseeing charters–regardless, it is certainly possible to earn your livelihood out on the water. As you begin putting together a business plan, you may also want to make an assessment of your boat. Is it up to the job of commercial work? Will it require upgrades? As you begin making basic plans for your new marine venture, this can also be a good time to start thinking about paperwork. Specifically, you will need a commercial vessel license to legally use your boat for business means in Canada. The good news is, you can get this documentation online by working with a private service such as ours at the National Vessel Registry Center.

During your years as a recreational boater, you have probably become accustomed to working with Transport Canada. This agency, which is headquartered in Ottawa, manages all transportation infrastructure matters on land and sea throughout the country. As a part of those duties, Transport Canada also issues licenses and registrations to boaters. When running a business using your boat, you may find that you need more than one piece of documentation. For starters, you will probably want a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). Obtained after taking an educational course and passing an exam, a PCOC demonstrates that you can safely operate a motorized vessel. You will also need to apply for a commercial boat license, which is more officially known as a vessel registration.

What is a Commercial Vessel License?

In the past, you have probably applied for a Pleasure Craft License (PCL) for your boat. This license applies to recreational vessels with engines of 7.5 kW or more. Vessel registration is somewhat similar, though its requirements are a bit different. If you plan on using your boat for any sort of commercial reason, you will need to apply for vessel registration. This is also required any time a boat is financed with a bank loan, or if you plan to sail on international seas under the Canadian flag. When you have a vessel registration, you no longer require a PCL.

If it is time to get your commercial boat license, you will need to work on filling out some forms. You can start by completing Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration and Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration. You will also need to provide a tonnage measurement, bill of sale, and photographs of all four sides of your boat to Transport Canada.

Commercial Vessel License

Get Your Boat License Online

You can apply for your commercial boat license online by using our streamlined, easy-to-fill web forms. Simply select the correct documentation mode for you from within our navigation menu. For additional information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.