What to Know About Placement of Boat Numbers

Placement of Boat Numbers

There are a ton of reasons to consider buying a boat. For one, they offer a great way to make the most out of your weekends during the Canadian summer months. After all, we trudge through long and grueling winters in order to enjoy the outdoors during the warmer times of the year. If you happen to be an avid fisherman, or if you enjoy waterskiing, owning your own boat can also give you the freedom to get out and do what you love whenever the urge strikes. Yes, owning a boat can give you a great sense of liberation–one that is hard to beat. Still, boat ownership also comes with a high degree of responsibility. You will need to keep your boat well-maintained, and cleaned, and you should always know the best safety practices when it comes to operating your vessel. There are also paperwork matters that you will need to address from time to time. Typically, this means getting or renewing a pleasure craft license (PCL), which can lead to questions about the placement of boat numbers.

In a number of ways, owning a boat is not too dissimilar to owning a car. For starters, if you plan to buy a motorized vessel, you will likely need a boating license, much like you need a driver’s license for a car. A boating license, which is technically referred to as a pleasure craft operator card (PCOC), is obtained after taking an educational class and then passing Transport Canada’s exam. When you buy a car, you typically will need to have it registered, and believe it or not, there is a similar process that must play out when you purchase a boat. This often means obtaining a vessel registration or PCL, depending on the particulars of your boat. Read on to learn more.

Placement of Boat Numbers: How Does it Work?

So, what type of boat requires a PCL? In Canada, any motorized vessel with an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more must apply for a PCL. Once issued, this license will be valid for a period of 10 years, at which point it can be renewed. When you receive a PCL, you will also be given a set of boat numbers (often called a registration number), which you must display on the exterior of your boat. To be more precise, your boat numbers should be placed well above the water line on both sides of your boat’s bow. Your boat numbers should also be displayed in characters of at least three inches in height, and their color must clearly contrast with your vessels’ paint job. 

Placement of Boat Numbers

Get Your Pleasure Craft License Online

You can apply for your pleasure craft license or vessel registration online by using our simplified web forms. Just click on the option that is right for you in our easy-to-read navigation menu. If you would like to learn more, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.