Watercraft Licence in Canada No Matter How You’re Using Your Vessel

watercraft licence in Canada

There are so many different things you can do with a boat in Canada. You could take it all around your local lake, bay, or even ocean area, enjoying everything to your heart’s content. Alternatively, you could decide that you want to use your vessel to make some money. You could maybe make some alterations to the vessel, and charge folks admission to come onto your vessel, and see everything that your part of Canada has to offer. Obviously, there are many more options than just these. We can help you to get the right watercraft licence in Canada (or registration) regardless of how you’re using your vessel. 

“Licence and Registration” 

When most people hear the words “licence” and “registration,” they tend to think of them as synonymous, as if they mean the exact same thing. That’s not really the case. In fact, when it comes to Canada watercraft registration, they’re very different. Some vessels will qualify for registration, whereas other vessels instead require a Pleasure Craft Licence. Obviously, having the right form of registration for your vessel is important. No one would ever want to have to go through an entire registration or licensing process only to discover that they acquired the wrong kind. Below, we’ll go over the differences so that you can get what your vessel needs the first time. /

Watercraft Licence in Canada: for Pleasure 

A Pleasure Craft Licence is for vessels that are used for “pleasure and recreation.” That seems simple enough, but there is a gray area. It’s easy enough to say: “well, it’s not a pleasure craft if someone pays to be on your vessel.” That’s all well and good, but how many of us have gone for a boat ride on someone else’s vessel and only really been invited because we agreed to pay for gas, or do some other task for the person? A Pleasure Craft Licence is appropriate for that vessel you usually only take your friends, family, and similar folks out on. You aren’t charging your kids admission to get on the vessel, nor are you making grandma pay up. 

watercraft licence in Canada

Commercial Watercraft in Canada 

If you’re using your vessel in a commercial capacity, then you need to vessel registration or to get on the Small Vessel Register. A licence, in this case, won’t be enough. Instead, you have to go to the trouble to get the vessel registration. If people are mostly on the vessel because they have paid to do so, if there are people on the vessel as part of their job (not including the crew) or if the vessel is providing service, then it’s a commercial vessel. 

Registration and More 

We’ve returned to this topic a few times in these blogs because we know how confusing it can be. If you have any further questions about watercraft licence in Canada and how this works, or really, anything else about Canadian vessel documentation, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (800) 419-9569. We’ll be happy to help.