Is it finally time to buy your own boat? After years and years of dreaming of having a vessel all your own, is it time to turn those aspirations into reality? If so, it is likely the product of many months of saving the necessary funds and performing a fair amount of research. After all, you had to scour listings in both print and digital media, locate a seller, and negotiate a reasonable price. With the keys to your new vessel in your hands, you are understandably eager to hit the water and start making memories. There are, however, some paperwork formalities that you may need to complete first, such as processing a Pleasure Craft License (PCL) application with Transport Canada.
As you know by this point, a boat–no matter what size–is a significant investment. Having a PCL allows you to protect it in a way, as it allows you to have a record of ownership. Since you will be using your vessel on shared waterways, it is also logical that you are subject to rules and regulations. Keeping a valid license onboard your vessel allows you to operate your watercraft in accordance with the law, helping you avoid potentially costly fines.
How to Start a Pleasure Craft License Application
Before you set out to obtain your Pleasure Craft License, you should first make sure that it is the appropriate license for your vessel. In Canada, any recreational, motorized vessel with an engine of 10 or more horsepower (8.5 kW) will require a PCL. Of course, you can still get a PCL even if your vessel is non-motorized, and it will give you a registration number, which could afford you peace of mind.
If your vessel is going to be used for commercial purposes, or if it is financed with a marine mortgage, you will instead need to enter the Small Vessel Registry. This is also true of any boat traveling abroad under the Canadian flag.
If you have done the necessary research and decided that you need a PCL, you can get to work on your application. In order to do this, you will need some basic information about your vessel and yourself. You will also need to assemble some supplemental materials. Namely, you will need a bill of sale, which is used to establish proof of ownership. You will also want to take a full-size, side profile photograph of your vessel. Once you have assembled all of these items, you can package your application and mail it to Transport Canada for processing.
Completing Your PCL Application Online
Of course, there is an easier pathway to obtaining a PCL. Why track down and print PDFs, put ink to paper, and head down to the post office when you can submit your application online? At the National Vessel Registry Center, we are a private service that offers a streamlined web form and secure SSL-encrypted web portal for submitting PCL applications. To learn more, take a moment or two to browse our website’s navigation.