New Pleasure Craft Licence

Transport Canada Pleasure Craft Licence

When you own your own boat, you have the freedom to explore many of Canada’s pristine, beautiful waterways whenever the urge strikes you. Of course, in order to ensure that you are operating in accordance with the law, you will want to make sure that you have a valid Transport Canada pleasure craft licence (PCL). By using our pleasure craft registration form, you can submit your application and supplemental materials online with just a few clicks. At the National Vessel Registry Center, we make it easy to apply for your Canadian pleasure craft licence online.

Transport Canada Pleasure Craft Licence

What is a Transport Canada Pleasure Craft Licence? Do You Need One?

For many Canadians, owning a boat is a dream come true. If you have recently joined the privileged company of vessel owners, it may be the culmination of months, or even years of saving. As buying a boat can be a considerable investment, it is important to do your due diligence as well. Surely, you spent many hours online or perusing print materials to learn as much as you could about the different types of boats, as well as the nuances of specific manufacturers. Once you settled on the right type of boat for you, then it was time to scour “for sale” listings in order to net yourself the best possible deal. After finding a seller and agreeing on a price, you finally got the keys to your new vessel and hitched it to your truck. Before you can launch into your lake or river of choice, however, there are some practical matters to address. First, you will want to review whether or not you have enough life jackets and safety supplies onboard for you and your passengers. Then, you will want to make sure that your engine is in good working order. Lastly, though perhaps most importantly, you will want to double-check that you have a valid Transport Canada pleasure craft licence.

If you have a history with boating, such as obtaining your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), you have probably worked a bit with Transport Canada in the past. As the Canadian government’s primary transportation agency for matters of both land and sea, Transport Canada is accountable to the Canadian people and Parliament as they craft legislation, develop safety regulations, and monitor who and what is on our waterways. As a responsible vessel owner, you have an obligation to keep your Canadian pleasure craft licence or vessel registration current.

So, just what is a pleasure craft licence? A PCL, as its name aptly suggests, is issued to recreational vessels in Canada. They are available to all types of boats, but they are required for any vessel that has an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more.

How to Complete a Pleasure Craft Registration Form

If your boat meets the criteria of needing a PCL, or if you simply wish to obtain one as a practical measure, there is a process that you will need to follow. You will want to start by completing a pleasure craft registration form, which you can do using our web template. This document will ask you some basic information about yourself as well as the vessel in question. Additionally, you will need to provide Transport Canada with proof of ownership (typically a bill of sale), and a photograph of your vessel. Once issued, your PCL will grant you a registration number. This string of digits will need to appear externally on both sides of your boat’s bow. You should display your registration number in digits of at least three inches in height, and in a color that clearly contrasts with your boat’s paint job. 

Do You Need to Apply for Vessel Registration?

A PCL will be suitable for most Canadian boaters, but others may require a vessel registration application. This is the case for any boats used for commercial purposes such as sightseeing charters and tours. You will also need to submit a Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration if your boat is financed with a marine mortgage, or if you are traveling internationally under the Canadian flag. In addition to submitting a Form 1, when you register your vessel with Transport Canada, you will also need to file a Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration, and submit four photographs (one of each side) of your vessel, along with a tonnage measurement. When you register your vessel, your boat receives a wholly unique name of your choosing and an official number. You can use our web forms to process your vessel registration application online.

Work with Us Today

At the National Vessel Registry Center, we have all the online forms you need to obtain your Transport Canada documentation. To discover how we can help you, spend a few minutes exploring our website. You can also contact one of our customer service representatives by phone or email with any questions you may have.