Understanding the Different Boat Licenses in Canada

Different Boat Licenses

When you decide to buy a boat of your own, you are potentially making a pretty important decision. Boats, both new and previously owned, can command a high price tag, so it is prudent to do as much research as possible before making an offer on a vessel. Additionally, boats are a time commitment. Every spring, you will need to carve out time to perform basic maintenance on your vessel, as well as clean it and top up its fuel levels. Of course, another part of that time commitment is a bit more fun: hours and hours spent on your new boat! You will be able to cruise the lake with your friends and family, catch fish, waterski, or just relax. Before you gear up your boat and hit the water, though, you may need to sit down and complete some paperwork with Transport Canada. Typically, this means applying for a license or registration and understanding the different boat licenses can help you through this process. Fortunately, we have got you covered.

A boat, not unlike a car, can be a powerful machine. Motorized boats, in particular, can be dangerous when not operated correctly. With this in mind, it makes sense that Transport Canada would issue licenses to boat operators and vessels alike. As the nation’s main transportation agency for all things water-related, Transport Canada will provide you with documentation on occasion throughout your years as a boat owner. While this may strike you as a bureaucratic headache, working with a private service like ours at the National Vessel Registry Center can allow you to apply for what you need over the web. Less time putting ink to paper means more time out on the lake, so processing your forms online can be something of a no-brainer.

What Are the Different Boat Licenses?

Before you start applying for Transport Canada documentation, you may want to learn just what it is your vessel requires. A boating license, which is sort of like a driver’s license for a vessel, is a document that demonstrates you have a basic ability for safely operating a boat. This is officially called a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC), and it is obtained by taking a short training course and passing Transport Canada’s requisite exam.

A boat license officially called a pleasure craft license (PCL), is a different type of document in that it pertains specifically to your boat. PCLs are required for any motorized vessel with an engine of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more. You can use our web forms to apply for your PCL online. We also have an SSL-encrypted web portal that you can use to upload any supplemental materials needed. 

Different Boat Licenses

Get Your Boat License Online Today

Whether you need a boat license or a vessel registration, we can help. To learn more about the services we provide, spend a few minutes exploring our website. You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information.