Registering a Boat in Canada Has Never Been Easier

registering a boat in Canada

Just like you need to register your vehicle before driving it, registering a boat in Canada will be very important if you intend to set sail legally and with your permits in order. 

Who Can Register a Vessel in Canada?

First of all, we need to go over who can legally register a boat under a Canadian flagship, because not just anyone can. The requirements are very specific, the vessel owner has to be:

  • a Canadian citizen,
  • a Canadian resident,
  • or an entity or corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada.

If the vessel is owned by one or more of the above, then the owner can easily go through the process of registering a boat in Canada. The registration, after all, gives the vessel itself a Canadian nationality, which means that the vessel will be allowed to operate without restrictions in Canadian waters as long as it adheres to the conditions of its registration. This also means that you will then be entitled to the protections under Canadian law and that it can fly the Canadian fly on the boat.

Registering a Vessel for the First Time

So, how do you register your vessel in the first place? The process is actually quite simple as long as you do it in an organized and guided way. If the vessel has never been registered with Transport Canada, then you will need to apply for a first-time registration. All you will need to do is fill out the corresponding form (you can find it on the registry tab of our website menu above), proving not only your information as owner of the vessel but the factory information about the vessel itself. Note that this is the process to register a commercial vessel. Should yours be a pleasure or recreational vessel, you will need to go through the process of getting a pleasure craft license instead.

Registering a Used Boat

If the vessel had a previous owner but is now new to you, the process might be a little bit differently. In such cases that the vessel was previously registered in Canada, the previous owner will have to go through a process to transfer the ownership to you, the new owner. However, this will be different if the vessel’s registration took place in a different country. In those cases, you will have to register the vessel as new since there won’t be an existing record of it in the Canadian Registry of Vessels. If you are unsure about how to proceed because of your vessel’s prior instances of registration, don’t worry. Our team can guide you through the process.

Easily Registering a Boat in Canada

Dealing directly with Transport Canada when registering a boat in Canada can seem straightforward, but it might actually result in a constant come-and-go of applications and forms as you try to correct and apply what they keep telling you. The best way to avoid this is to carry out the process through our platform here at the National Vessel Registry Center. All relevant forms are readily available on our website for you to fill out. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by calling +1 (800) 419-9569 or email us at