Learn About Registering a Boat Online

registering a boat

One of the unique things about boating as a hobby is that there are so many different types of boats out on the water. Whether you are looking to buy a sailboat, a fishing boat, or even a yacht, there are countless makes and models out there to choose from. When you are just beginning your boat ownership journey, this can mean spending a fair amount of time doing the proper due diligence on what type of boat is right for your needs. Beyond what you plan to use your boat for, you will also want to think about practical matters–where will you store your vessel? How much are you willing to spend on it? Once you have determined the right boat for you, you can begin browsing print and online resources to find a seller. After you have negotiated a fair price and your new boat is firmly in your possession, you are almost ready to make waves. First, though, you may need to obtain the proper documentation, and for some, that means registering a boat online with Transport Canada.

You should think of buying a boat–especially one with a motor–as being similar to purchasing a car. For instance, to drive a car, you need a driver’s license, and a similar process is required for motorized vessels. A pleasure craft operator card (PCOC), also called a boating license, demonstrates that you have a basic competency for operating a motorized boat, and it is obtained after some light coursework and an exam. Additionally, just as a motor vehicle requires a registration, so too do certain boats. Read on to learn more about the types of documentation your vessel may need.

Registering a Boat: When is it Necessary?

It is worth noting that Transport Canada–the country’s primary transportation agency for matters at both land and sea–offers different modes of documentation for vessels, principally based on what they are used for. Recreational vessels with motors of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more will typically call for a pleasure craft license (PCL). When a boat is used for commercial purposes or travels abroad under the Canadian flag, it will require a vessel registration. This is also the case for boats that are bought with any sort of financing.

If your boat will require a registration document, there are some forms that you will need to complete. To start, you will want a Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration and a Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration. If your boat is new, you will also need to provide a tonnage measurement. Transport Canada also requires that you provide full-color photographs of all four sides of your vessel. 

Register Your Boat Online Today!

Instead of printing out a bunch of forms and filling them out by hand, use our website instead. We have all the forms you need online in an easy-to-fill format. To learn more, take a few minutes to explore our website, or visit our helpful Frequently Asked Questions page.