Transport Canada

Owning your boat is a dream come true for many. Having the opportunity to hit the open water whenever you want and building lasting memories with your loved ones is a privilege with few equals. With that privilege, however, comes a fair amount of responsibility. If you are a boat owner, having your vessel documented and up-to-date with Transport Canada is often compulsory, and always smart.

Canadian Vessel Documentation Portal

What is Transport Canada?

Canada is home to some of the visually stunning natural waterways in the world. With its bountiful freshwater lakes and expansive coastlines, Canada is an ideal destination for boaters and outdoorsmen alike. Maintaining infrastructure and keeping track of boats and other vessels is paramount to ensuring that water activities can be enjoyed by all, and that’s where Transport Canada enters the picture.

Managing transportation policies and programs, this government agency is directly responsible for vessel licensing and registration. This includes commercial vessel registration, pleasure craft licenses, and coasting trade licenses. If you are new to boat ownership, you will come to know Transport Canada and its required documentation. If you already own your own vessel, perhaps your document needs have evolved, and you need to submit more nuanced forms. Regardless of what your situation may be, staying current with the Canadian government is often required by law.

How Can I Submit My Documents?

Whether you are registering your boat for the first time, or seeking a renewal, you will want to make sure you locate the appropriate forms. While it is possible to fill these documents out by hand and submit them via mail, there are simpler options available.

At the National Vessel Registry Center, we eliminate the need to print, sign, and mail your vessel registration forms. Using simple, streamlined online documents, we allow Canadian boat owners to submit their applications in a matter of minutes. In most cases, with just a smattering of facts and details about your boat, you can fill out your forms and submit them via our web portal in a quick and accurate fashion. By working with a trusted private service like ours, you can also rest easy knowing that your private information is in safe hands. We employ an SSL-encrypted portal that transfers your personal data safely and securely.

Canadian Vessel Documentation Portal

Use Our Secure Vessel Document Portal Today

Completing documents for Transport Canada can seem like a bureaucratic headache, but it does not have to be. At the National Vessel Registry Center, we offer online forms for everything from initial registrations to change of port of registry requests. Our convenient, one-stop site also makes it easy to apply for your pleasure craft license. By offering an array of helpful services, we are able to cater to the many needs of Canadian boat owners.

To learn more about how we can help you in getting the documentation you need, contact us today. You can also take a few minutes to explore our site’s navigation and browse for the online form that you require.

Registration or Licensing?

Perhaps the most commonly-used forms on our site are the ones to register a Canadian vessel and the ones to apply for a Pleasure Craft License. They are not the same thing. Moreover, you cannot register a vessel and have it licensed. It is one or the other.
In brief, you must register your vessel if its gross tonnage is more than 15, the motor totals or is more than 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) and you’ll be using it for commercial purposes. If instead, you’re only going to use your vessel to have fun, for recreation, or for day-to-day activities that aren’t commercial in nature (such as traveling on your vessel, going fishing, and so forth) then you can get a pleasure craft license.
In this context, examples of using a vessel for commercial purposes include carrying passengers who paid to be on the vessel, using it to provide services, there are those who get paid to work a job on the vessel, or if the vessel is operated by the government, be the government federal or provincial.
Vessels can be registered in Canada if they meet the requirements listed above and they’re owned by citizens of Canada, permanent residents of Canada, Canadian governments, Canadian corporations, or even foreign corporations so long as they have a Canadian-authorized representative.
There are reasons that vessel owners may choose to register their vessels even if they don’t plan on using the vessels for commercial purposes. They may plan on traveling on the vessel outside of Canada, they want a reserved name for the vessel, and/or they want to have a marine mortgage registered with Transport Canada.
Here at our site, we offer all of the forms that vessel owners may need to register their vessels, renew their registration, as well as those to license their vessels and renew their licensing when necessary.
By that same token, for the purposes of a pleasure craft license, the vessel can be owned by any person or organization, with a maximum of two people. As you might imagine, some of the ownership requirements can become somewhat complicated. If you have any questions, we’re happy to answer them at

Canadian Register of Vessels or the Small Vessel Registry?

Commercial vessels with a gross tonnage of 15 or less but with a motor of 7.5 kW or more do have to be registered, but not on the Canadian Vessel Registry. Instead, they should be registered on the “Small Vessel Register.” As with other forms dealing with licensing and registration, you can find all of the pertinent forms here at our site.
Additionally, other vessels that qualify for the Small Vessel Register include commercial river rafts, any barge with a gross tonnage of 15 or less, and a government-owned vessel with a motor of 7.5 kW or more and a gross tonnage of 15 or less.

Comprehensive Canadian Vessel Registration

Here at the National Vessel Registry Center Corp., we offer more forms than just those for the registration and licensing of vessels.
For example, we offer the forms to transfer ownership (whether the vessel is owned by citizens or the government), to transfer licenses, and others.
Should there be changes that need to be made to your Certificate, we offer the forms to be able to do so. These include the “Change of Vessel Name and/or Transfer of Port of Registry,” any “Alterations” made to your vessel, and “Application for Change of Address.”
In the event that you do want to apply for a mortgage to be recorded against a vessel currently under the Canadian Register of Vessels, we offer that form as well. Additionally, you can apply for the “Discharge of Mortgage” once the mortgage has been paid off.
To learn more about a vessel, you can apply for “Transcripts” as well as “Historical Research” through our site. Should they be necessary, you can send in the proper forms for using your vessel as a bare-boat charter or for the transmission of your vessel upon death/bankruptcy as well.
The National Vessel Registry Center Corp. is committed to making the Canadian vessel documentation process simpler for all of our customers. We aim to expedite the process of working with Transport Canada. Safe travels to all on Canadian waters and beyond.