How to Register a Vessel in Canada According to Each Situation

how to register a vessel in Canada

Despite the nature of any such bureaucratic processes, figuring out how to register a vessel in Canada doesn’t have to be that difficult. In fact, it can be quite simple. Now, there will be a variety of circumstances under which the process will be slightly different. Let’s go over some of these.

How to Register a Vessel in Canada

So, you just got a new vessel and the seas are waiting for you! Well, they will be once you have your registration in place. After all, you do not want to risk setting sail without all your papers in place, or else you could end up sailing in violation of the Canada Shipping Act of 2001. But don’t worry, because registering your vessel won’t be hard at all. All you need to do is head over to our home page and find the first time registration form. You will have to provide thorough information about the vessel itself, such as its measurements, tonnage, and engine specs, as well as the name you intend to give it. Once you’ve filled up everything as needed, your application will be on its way to the official registry. You’ll be setting sail in no time!

Purchasing a Used Vessel

Now, if you are purchasing a vessel from a previous owner rather than a brand new one, then the process will be slightly different. You won’t have to apply for initial registration, but the person or entity selling you the vessel will have to fill out a form for a transfer of ownership, as long as the vessel was registered in Canada. You might think that the sale itself is enough to make the new ownership official, but in reality, there needs to be an administrative process that ratifies this in the eyes of the government and the relevant boating agencies. The transfer of ownership should be carried out by the previous owner, so if you are the one selling your vessel, then this process is up to you. If you’re the buyer, then this process will ensure that you are registered as the official owner.

Registering an Imported Vessel

If you are looking into how to register a vessel in Canada when the boat in question is imported, you will have to first go through the customs process. Once that’s done, make sure to save all your receipts in case you are ever asked for proof you paid all the necessary fees and taxes on an imported boat. After you have that figured out, you will need to wrap up the process of importing a boat into Canada by applying for registration with Transport Canada, which you can easily do through our platform here at the National Vessel Registry Center. Just make sure that you have a valid proof of transfer and ownership, and that the vessel isn’t registered abroad.

How to Register a Vessel in Canada

If you are wondering how to register a vessel in Canada, our team here at the National Vessel Registry Center are here to help you with any process relevant to Transport Canada applications. Give us a call at +1 (800) 419-9569, email us at, or fill out the contact form on our website should you need any help.