What is the Canadian Vessel Registry?

canadian vessel registry

Have you been kicking around the idea of buying your own boat? Well, if you are a Canadian resident, there are not many better places on Earth to do so. With Canada’s bountiful lakes and winding rivers–not to mention thousands of miles of coastline–in many ways, our country is paradise for boaters and outdoors enthusiasts. While you may have already identified where you take your hypothetical boat, have you thought much about what type of boat you want and what you will specifically use it for? These are, of course, important considerations. As you probably know, boats come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, not to mention a wide spectrum of prices. Once you have narrowed down your search, though, you can find a used or new boat that suits the needs of you and your family. Before you load up the cooler and head out to make waves, though, you may want to check and see if your boat needs to be added to the Canadian vessel registry.

While Canada’s pristine bodies of water are a great source of natural pride, it is up to us as citizens to do what we can to preserve them. This means thoroughly cleaning your boat before putting it in the water, and making sure your emissions are in check. Additionally, this means doing your part to keep your documentation current with Transport Canada. As the country’s main agency for all transportation matters on both land and sea, Transport Canada plays an important role in protecting and regulating our waters. One way in which they do this is by maintaining a registry of the vessels accessing our waters, as well as issuing pleasure craft licenses (PCLs) to boats that require them. Read on to learn more.

Do I Need to Enter the Canadian Vessel Registry?

At this juncture, you may be wondering, do all boats need to enter the national vessel registry? In short, not technically. Vessel registration is a service that is available to all, but it is only required for certain types of boats. If you plan to use your vessel for any sort of commercial practice, it will need to be registered. This is also the case if you are sailing on foreign waters under the Canadian flag, or if you used bank financing to purchase your boat. When you register your boat, you are granted a completely unique name for your vessel, which will serve as its source of identification. 

So, how do you register a vessel? Well, you can start by completing a Form 1 – Application for Vessel Registration and a Form 3 – Statement of Qualification for Vessel Registration. You will also need to submit photographs of all four sides of your vessel and a tonnage measurement to Transport Canada.

Register Your Vessel Online

Using our private service, you can register your boat online. Simply select the vessel registration option from our navigation menu and you will be brought to a landing page with fillable web forms. If you would like to learn more information, spend some time exploring our site, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

canadian vessel registry