When it comes to outdoor summer activities, it does not get much better than boating. In Canada, especially, with its ample supply of pristine waterways, getting out on the water is a great way to spend an afternoon. If you have recently purchased your own boat, you are no doubt ready to leave the dock with your friends and family. Whether you are into fishing, waterskiing, or just regular sightseeing, owning your own boat can open up a whole new world of recreational activities. Before you can start making waves, though, you are going to want to obtain the correct watercraft license in Canada.
If you think back to when you bought your first car, the sense of freedom you felt was probably not dissimilar to the emotions stirred by purchasing a boat. Of course, you also had to complete some paperwork, namely obtaining a driver’s license and processing a motor vehicle registration. As a boat is a large purchase, not to mention a sizable watercraft that can be dangerous when used improperly, it is not terribly surprising that you must complete similar formalities. Fortunately, by working with a private service such as ours at the National Vessel Registry Center, you can get the documents you need online.
What Sort of Watercraft License Do You Need in Canada?
Before you can set out to obtain the proper vessel documentation, you should probably determine what exactly it is you need. First, you are likely going to want to obtain a boating license, which is more officially known as a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). In order to get your PCOC, you will need to take an educational course that goes over the basics of how to safely operate a watercraft. After you have completed that course, you can take a competency exam to get a PCOC from Transport Canada.
Though they sound similar, a “boating license” and a “boat license” are two very different documents. A boat license serves as more of a registration for your vessel, and it is better known as a Pleasure Craft License (PCL). If you are operating a motorized vessel with an engine of 10 or more horsepower, you will require a PCL. You can acquire a PCL by submitting an application, a bill of sale, and a photograph of your boat to Transport Canada.
Once issued, your PCL will give your vessel its registration number. This string of digits must be affixed to both sides of your bow on the exterior of your boat. You should use letters that are at least three inches in height, and they must be placed well above the waterline. Your PCL is valid for a period of ten years, after which point you will need to request a renewal.
Get Your PCL Online Today!
At the National Vessel Registry Center, we have an easy-to-fill online form that you can use to apply for your PCL in just a matter of minutes. If you would like to learn more about our services, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact one of our helpful customer service agents by phone or email.