Requirements to Obtain the Alberta Boat License

alberta boat license

When it comes to boating destinations, few are superior to Alberta, Canada. Home to more than 600 lakes and nearly 250 rivers, this province offers ample opportunities for boat owners to make lasting memories. Before you hitch your boat to your truck and take off for a day on the water, however, you are going to want to make sure you obtain a proper Alberta boat license. If you have any previous experience with boat ownership, you are likely somewhat familiar with navigating licensing paperwork. Still, it is never a bad idea to go through a quick primer.

Licensing your vessel and carrying a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) are compulsory safety measures for you to take as a boat owner. Issued by Transport Canada–the nation’s primary transportation agency–these documents allow you to operate your vessel in a legal fashion. By understanding which documents are required for your individual needs, you can quickly apply for what you need and get back out on the water.

Do I Need an Alberta Boat License?

Before determining whether or not you need a boat license in Alberta, it is helpful to understand what it is. Formally known as a Pleasure Craft License (PCL), this document serves as a registration for your vessel. Once issued, your PCL will provide you with your registration identification number. You will likely recognize this as the alphanumeric string that is placed on the exterior of most pleasure craft.

If your vessel has an engine of 7.5 kW or more, you will likely require a PCL. Smaller vessels, such as canoes or inflatable rafts, can forgo this process. Once your PCL has been issued, it will be valid for a period of 10 years, at which point you can request a renewal.

A PCL can also be transferred. This is a common activity for the secondary boat market. Coupled with a bill of sale, a vessel’s owner can sign over a PCL and the buyer can submit it to Transport Canada for processing.

alberta boat license

Does Vessel Registration Make Sense for You?

A PCL applies to, as its name suggests, pleasure craft. If you have a boat that you are planning to use for commercial activity, it will need to be registered with Transport Canada. This is also true of boats carrying marine mortgages, as well as those traversing international waters.

To apply for a vessel registration, you will need to complete an application and submit some supplemental items, including photographs of all four sides of your boat. With a vessel registration, you can forgo obtaining and renewing a PCL, as this one piece of documentation will meet Alberta’s legal requirements. Vessel registration also gives your boat a completely unique name, as no two boats in the vessel registry are allowed to have matching monikers.

Learn More – Contact Us Today!

Whether you need a PCL or an application for vessel registration, we can help. At the National Vessel Registry Center, we make it easy to apply for the documentation you need online. Using our SSL-encrypted web portal and easy-to-fill forms, you can apply for what you need in a quick and comprehensive manner. To learn more, contact us today.