Transport Canada’s Guidelines on How to Display Boat Numbers in Canada

boat numbers in Canada

Transport Canada has very specific display requirements for boats’ identification numbers, so, for your convenience, here’s how to properly display your hull boat numbers in Canada.

Boat Numbers in Canada

The implementation of your boat numbers in Canada will be regulated according to the specific situation. Is it a recreational boat that will need a license or a commercial one that will require registration? Per Transport Canada guidelines, recreational and commercial boats will have different requirements for the display of their identification numbers. With that in mind, let’s take a look at both situations and how you will have to display the number in each one of them. 

Displaying Registered Boats’ Numbers

If what you are doing is registering your commercial vessel, you will have to display the corresponding number by the guidelines for boat numbers in Canada. So yes, registering your vessel will be very important, but so will making sure that the corresponding registration number is properly displayed on the vessel going forward. Let’s take a look at the specific requirements for these displays.

  • Both the name and the registration number need to be displayed on both sides of the vessel’s hull.
  • Letter markings have to be at least 10 centimetres or 4 inches.
  • Permanent markings need to be etched or affixed regarding tonnage and similar statistics.
  • For obvious reasons, the number needs to be above the waterline.
  • The colour of the letters needs to distinctly contrast with the colour of the bow.

Displaying Your Pleasure Craft Number

Just like with registered vessels, there are very particular guidelines that need to be taken into account at the time of properly displaying the pleasure craft number on your vessel. If you are not aware of where the pleasure craft number should be displayed or end up painting the digits in the wrong place, you might end up getting in trouble with the Transport Canada authorities. To avoid that, let’s make sure you have everything in order.

  • The licence number needs to be displayed on both sides of the bow.
  • For obvious reasons, the number needs to be above the waterline.
  • The digits need to be written in block characters that are at least 7.5 centimetres (or 3 inches) high.
  • The colour of the letters needs to distinctly contrast with the colour of the bow.

boat numbers in Canada

Apply to Get Your Boat Numbers

Filing any sort of registration or licence application with Transport Canada can be somewhat challenging for a variety of reasons. Requirements can get confusing, and forms can be frustrating. For that reason, we have set up this platform: to help you navigate the wide variety of processes handled by Transport Canada without any issues. Trust our team to assist you with getting your boat’s documentation processed quickly and easily. You can find all the forms you might need on our menu, but feel free to reach out to us if you have any doubts about any of them. We’re here to help you get your documentation in order.