How to Get Your Watercraft License in Canada

Watercraft License in Canada

Whether you own a cabin you like to frequent, or you just enjoy trips to the lake, nothing maximizes your enjoyment of the great Canadian outdoors more than owning your own boat. When you purchase a vessel of your own, you are giving yourself the freedom to explore any of Canada’s thousands of lakes at just a moment’s notice. Of course, buying a boat is often easier said than done. For one thing, it is typically a sizable investment, and you can expect to part with thousands of dollars. Additionally, even determining which boat is right for you can be a lot of work–you will need to perform quite a bit of due diligence to learn the various makes and models. Once you lock in on the right vessel for you, you can then find a seller and begin price negotiations. After you have met an agreement, you can find yourself holding the keys to the boat of your dreams. Before you head to the lake, though, you may want to learn how to obtain a watercraft license in Canada, and that is where a business like ours can help.

You should probably think about buying a boat in the same way that would about buying a car. While the price tags can be similar, they also have similar documentation requirements. For instance, for certain types of motorized vessels, you will require a boating license, which is officially called a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC). Much like getting a driver’s license, you will have to take a safety class and pass an exam. Also, sort of like registering a motor vehicle, you may have to seek out a boat license, which you will see referred to as a pleasure craft license (PCL). The good news, though, is that you can get PCL online by working with a private service such as ours at the National Vessel Registry Center. Read on to find out more.

Do You Need a Watercraft License in Canada?

Before you start seeking out forms and applications from Transport Canada, you should first determine just what it is you need. Any motorized vessel used for leisure purposes that features an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more will require a PCL in Canada. It is worth noting, though, that any boat can obtain a PCL, and many vessel owners enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having their boat documented with Transport Canada. For example, if your boat is stolen or goes missing, it can be easier for authorities to locate a boat with a license number.

To get your PCL, you will want to complete an application and provide proof of ownership along with a photograph of your vessel to Transport Canada. You can use our web forms to complete your application online, which can save you a fair amount of time.

Watercraft License in Canada

File for a PCL Online Today

If you need a PCL or some other mode of Transport Canada documentation, we can help. Take a minute or two to explore our navigation menu to learn more, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.