What is the Difference Between License and Registration?

difference between license and registration

Before you start an activity that is new for you, you probably do some research about it to make sure you have everything you need. Before going on a trip, for instance, you will probably check that you have what you must take with you for the flight, and even some details about the place that you are visiting. Well, boating is no exception. Prior to leaving the dock and navigating the open waters, you will find yourself immersed in a sea of paperwork. Questions will start to emerge, and something we get asked a lot is what’s the difference between license and registration? That is what this article will center around, so read on if you want to find out!

PCOC And Pleasure Craft Licenses.

If you have been wondering the difference between license and registration, you are not the only one. In fact, it is a fair question and a common one for new boaters. The same way you should not leave the dock without life jackets for every passenger, you shouldn’t start your journey without the proper documentation.

There are two types of licenses, and that might sometimes confuse you. On one hand, we have the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC), required to operate a powered vessel. This license is similar to a driver’s license, and demonstrates that you have the competency required to operate a pleasure craft on Canadian waters. You need to take an educational course and complete a test in order to obtain it.

A pleasure craft license, on the other hand, is a formal document that provides you with a unique identification number that needs to be displayed on the bows of the boat. This number helps law-enforcement and search and rescue officials trace a pleasure craft to its owner. This license is mandatory for all pleasure craft equipped with motors of 10 horsepower or more, including personal watercraft, which are principally maintained or operated in Canada.

Everything About Boat Registration

Vessel registration, on the other hand, indicates that your vessel has been registered with Transport Canada’s boating registry. It is compulsory for commercial or government owned vessels with an engine of 7.5 kW of power or more, boats with a marine mortgage, barges or commercial river rafts and vessels that intend to travel outside of Canada. This documentation in particular, serves as proof of ownership, and lets you carry the Canadian flag.

difference between license and registration

Get your Boat Documentation with Our Help!

Now that you know the differences between license and registration, and the documentation you need for your boat, it is time to print the form you want to get, fill it out and send it through a regular post, along with the supporting paperwork. Fortunately for you, this is not the only way of getting it.

The National Vessel Registry Center is a private documentation service that allows you to spend less time toiling over paperwork and more time out on the open waters. Our agency lets you get your documentation online, and our ssl-encrypted portal keeps your details safe while we submit them to Transport Canada and take care on your behalf. Contact us today if you want to know more about us!