To navigate the waters in Canada, you also have to know how to comply with the country’s boat licensing requirements. While buying a preowned boat is exciting, you also want to make sure you legally operate your boat.
A Pleasure Craft Licence Transfer is necessary if you are taking ownership of a preowned vessel. This straightforward process can be done online easily through the Canadian Vessel Registry.
Step 1: Understand Boat Licensing Requirements
Before transferring the boat licence, it’s essential to understand if your vessel requires a pleasure craft licence or not. In Canada, boats that are 3 meters (9.8 feet) or more in length and powered by motors of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more require a pleasure craft licence. Non-powered boats and those shorter than 3 meters with less powerful motors do not need to be licensed.
If you have a kayak or canoe then, you don’t need to license it. However, you can choose to voluntarily license your boat if you wish to have some form of identification on file. This can help greatly if your boat is stolen or lost or you’re involved in an accident.
Step 2: Obtain the Required Documentation
When purchasing a preowned pleasure craft, it’s vital to collect all the necessary paperwork from the seller. This should take place before transferring the licence. The required documents include:
- The current pleasure craft licence
- A bill of sale or proof of ownership (such as a written agreement or receipt) – make sure the bill of sale includes the agreed price, buyer and seller names, and description of the boat and pertinent details
- Proof of Canadian residency (a copy of a valid driver’s licence, provincial health card, or similar government-issued ID of the new owner or purchaser)
- Pictures of the pleasure craft or side views of the boat
Make sure that all documents are accurate and up-to-date to avoid any delays in transferring the licence.
Step 3: Complete and Submit the Transfer Application
To transfer the boat licence, you must complete an Application for Pleasure Craft Licence via the Canadian Vessel Registry.
Fill out all required fields and be sure to include your contact information, vessel details (such as licence identification number), new owner details, and any other necessary information specified in the form. Double-check all entries to ensure they are correct.
On the paper document of the transfer form, you’ll need to fill out the back (both buyer and seller).
You have a grace period of 90 days to submit the transfer info. In the interim, make sure you keep the bill of sale with you so you can prove you’ve purchased the boat.
Step 4: Receive Your Transfer Number
After submitting your application and documents, you should receive your pleasure craft licence (PCL) within six weeks. Upon receiving your licence, you must make sure the licence number is displayed properly on the exterior of your vessel as per Transport Canada guidelines.
The number should appear on each side of the boat’s bow above the water line. Make sure the number is at least 3 inches or 7.5 cm high. The font should be easy to read in Arabic or Roman characters. You can paint on the number or add durable vinyl cutouts for identification purposes, if required.
The licence will last 10 years before you’ll need to renew it.
Your licence paperwork should remain on the boat at all times.
A pleasure craft licence transfer for a preowned boat in Canada is a straightforward process, but it’s essential to be well-informed and prepared.
By following the above steps and making sure you have all necessary documentation ready, you can set sail more confidently on the waters.
Transfer a PCL Today
Remember to stay attentive to any changes in regulations and maintain the proper boat safety protocol. Count on the Canadian Vessel Registry for licensing or registering your PCL successfully online 24/7 – anytime, day or night.