How to Transfer Boat Ownership in Canada

Transfer Boat Ownership

One of the great things about boating in Canada is how inclusive it can be. The truth is, just about anyone can find something to enjoy about spending a day out on the water. Whether you have a passion for fishing, water sports, or just plain old sightseeing, having your own boat affords you the freedom to head out and make waves whenever the urge should strike you. Of course, for many, owning a boat is a luxury, and brand-new vessels can fetch high prices that many cannot budget for. The good news is, Canada is home to a robust secondary market where shrewd buyers can snag great deals on previously owned boats. When a vessel is sold, as it may be registered or licensed with Transport Canada, there will be some paperwork that needs to be completed. If you are looking to buy or sell a previously owned vessel, you are going to want to understand how to transfer boat ownership in Canada so that your transaction goes as smoothly as possible.

Boating, for a lot of people, is a lifelong pastime. As you grow older and your family expands, however, you may find that your boating needs will change as well. Maybe you will need to purchase something bigger to accommodate children or grandchildren? Perhaps you are looking to downsize as your kids are off at school. No matter what your circumstance may be, you can command a fair price selling your boat, while also allowing others to make memories of their own on your vessel. To effectively sell your boat, you will need to put on your marketing cap. You will want to create a dynamic listing with high-resolution photographs of your boat. You will also want to write an engaging description that highlights the positive qualities of your vessel. Lastly, you will want to have your paperwork ready to go, and that means knowing how to transfer boat ownership online.

How to Transfer Boat Ownership with a Pleasure Craft License

How you will need to go about officially transferring ownership of your vessel will depend on how it is documented with Transport Canada. For most boaters who are using their vessels recreationally, a simple Pleasure Craft License (PCL) provides adequate documentation. More specifically, a PCL is required for any boat featuring an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more. When you acquire a PCL, you will receive a registration number which must be displayed externally above the waterline on both sides of your vessel’s bow. You will also be issued a paper copy of your license which will need to be signed over in the event your boat changes ownership.

Additionally, in order to make the transfer process official, you will need to provide a bill of sale and photocopies of valid government identification for both the buyer and seller. You can do this online by working with us at the National Vessel Registry Center. We have simplified online forms that you can use to transfer a PCL with just a few clicks.

Transferring a Vessel Registration Online

While a basic PCL is enough for many boaters in Canada in terms of documentation, other boats will have to enter the national vessel registry. If you plan on using your boat for any sort of commercial purposes, or if you will be travelling abroad under the Canadian flag, you will need to submit a Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration to Transport Canada. This is also compulsory for any boat that is financed with a marine mortgage. 

When you obtain a vessel registration, your boat is assigned a completely unique name of your choosing, which can allow you to stand out from your peers down at the dock. You will also receive an official number for your boat. When a registered vessel changes ownership, a Form 6 – Bill of Sale needs to be provided to Transport Canada. Additionally, the buyer will need to submit Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration. While you do have the option to locate these forms as PDF files on Transport Canada’s website, download them, print them out, ink them by hand, and mail them in for processing, there is an easier way. At the National Vessel Registry Center, we can help you transfer ownership of a registered vessel online via our easy-to-fill web forms. 

 Transfer Boat Ownership

We Have All the Online Forms You Need on One Site

No matter what your Transport Canada documentation needs may be, we have an online solution for you. Whether it involves a transfer of ownership, an initial registration request, or a request for a replacement copy of a PCL, we can help you file your forms online in just minutes. To learn more about our services and how we can help you, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.