Learn How to Process a Boat License in Ontario

boat license ontario

As we trudge through another Ontario winter, it is never too early to start thinking about the lake. If you are a boat owner, or you plan to become one shortly, you can be forgiven for daydreaming about the open water and making memories in the sunshine with your friends and family. Of course, the toughest decision you will have to make is deciding on which of Ontario’s 250,000 freshwater lakes to explore. That’s right, our fair province is home to about one-fifth of the entire world’s freshwater supply, so the opportunities for you to make waves are virtually endless. If you already have a boat, you will want to make sure it is cleaned and up-to-date on its maintenance before boating season starts. If you are planning to buy a boat, you should get on the web and learn as much as you can about the various makes and models before landing on the right vessel for you. Whether your boat is new, or you have had it for years, you will also need to ensure that you are current on your documentation with Transport Canada. For many, this means applying for or renewing a boat license in Ontario. At the National Vessel Registry Center, we make it a breeze to take care of this online.

So, before you start packing up your cooler and throwing your water toys in your boat, take a look at your paperwork. What you will need, or need to update, will ultimately depend on what you plan to use your boat for. For instance, if your boat is to be used for any sort of commercial purpose, or if you took out a bank loan to finance its purchase, you will need to apply for a vessel registration. This will also be necessary if you plan to travel on international waters under the Canadian flag. If your plans are more recreational, you will likely only need a boat license, which is officially dubbed a pleasure craft license (PCL). Read on to learn a bit more about this document and how you can apply for yours online.

When Do You Need a Boat License in Ontario?

Before you sit down to apply for a PCL, you should first verify that it is the correct Transport Canada document for your vessel. If your boat is used for leisure means and it has an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more, you are required to obtain a PCL. This document will be valid for 10 years, and it will give your vessel a license number. This number must be displayed on both sides of your boat’s bow in characters that contrast with the color of your boat. Your license number’s characters should also be at least three inches in height and be positioned well above the waterline to ensure clear visibility.

boat license ontario
Apply Online Today

You can apply for your PCL today by using our fillable web forms and following our guided prompts. If you would like to learn more about our business or some of the other documents we can help you with, take a moment to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.