How to Get a Watercraft License in Canada Online

Watercraft License in Canada

One of the great things about boating is that it can be enjoyed by just about anyone. No matter what age you may be, there is something uniquely pleasurable about getting out on the water with your friends or loved ones. In Canada, with our ample supply of freshwater lakes and thousands of miles of ocean coastline, there is no shortage of places to take your boat out and make lasting memories. Before you pull away from the dock, however, there are a couple of items that you should account for. For one, is your boat up-to-date on its maintenance? Do you have enough life jackets for everyone on board? Also, though perhaps most importantly, do you have the proper watercraft license in Canada? Boating can be a dangerous activity, and there are also potential environmental harms to consider, so it is no wonder that a license is required in some cases.

In Canada, this document is better known as a boat license or, more officially, a Pleasure Craft License (PCL). By having a firm base of knowledge about this form of boat documentation, you make sure that you know how to obtain yours and operate your vessel safely and legally. Read on to learn more about the Canadian Pleasure Craft License.

Who Needs a Watercraft License in Canada?

Before you set out to acquire your Pleasure Craft License, it is probably helpful to determine whether or not you need one. In Canada, any motorized vessel that has an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more will require a PCL. This also applies to personal watercraft, such as Sea-doos. It is worth noting, however, that any vessel has the option to get a PCL, and some boat owners find that having a registration number affords them peace of mind in the event their boat goes missing or is stolen.

If you are planning to use your boat for commercial purposes, you will need to go a step further and enter the Small Vessel Registry. This is also true for boats that are traveling internationally under the Canadian flag and vessels that are financed with a marine mortgage. One perk of registering your vessel is that you will not need to obtain or renew a PCL (which is typically required every 10 years). A vessel registration also gives your boat a completely unique, one-of-a-kind name, which allows you to stand out from your boating peers.

Watercraft License in Canada

Get Your Boat License Online Using Our Forms

If you need a PCL, there are a couple of ways that you can go about getting one. You can visit Transport Canada’s website, download a PDF for the “Application for Pleasure Craft License”, print it out, fill it out by hand, and mail it to the appropriate office location. Of course, there is also a simpler way.

By working with us at the National Vessel Registry Center, you can apply for your PCL online in just minutes. We use easy-to-read, streamlined web forms and an SSL-encrypted web portal, allowing you to securely transmit your personal information. If you have any questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact us by email or phone.