Where Should a Pleasure Craft Licence Be Displayed?

It’s doubtful that you’ve given a lot of thought about the display of your license for your pleasure craft. After all, you probably have not asked, “Where should a pleasure craft licence be displayed.?” While you need to add the number for identification purposes, you probably have overlooked or delayed this task.

After all, it’s  much funner to think of activities, such as fishing or water skiing, than to focus on boating rules and protocols. Nevertheless, just like your taxes, it has to be done, so you need to know how and where to display your pleasure craft ID.

Where Should a Pleasure Craft Licence Be Displayed So It is Easily Seen?

Governmental regulators require pleasure craft owners to display their licence number on each side of a boat’s bow. Therefore, you need to know something about a boat’s anatomy. The bow represents the front of the boat while the stern is located at the rear of the vessel. Starboard refers to the boat’s right side while port references the vessel’s left side.

Obviously, the bow represents the ideal place for an I.D. as you can see the number directly in front of you during an emergency. Adding the licence number then is important, as rescuers can spot you quickly.

Okay, now you know part of the answer to “Where should a pleasure craft licence be displayed?” Next, you need to know how you should mark your boat. Not only do you need durable markings, they must be high enough and clear enough to read easily. Otherwise, you’ll defeat the whole purpose of the I.D.

where should the pleasure craft licence number be displayed

Make Safety a Priority

According to Cottage Life, you’re required to display the licence number properly. Otherwise, the police will stop your boat and, in all probability, check to see if you’ve violated other safety rules as well. They’re not looking to spoil your fun. They just want to make sure that everyone who navigates Canada’s waters makes safety a priority.

Again, powered pleasure craft vessels of at least 10 horsepower must have a licence and the number of the licence property displayed on the boat’s exterior. You must also have the required paperwork on board that shows you’re the boat’s owner. Otherwise, police authorities will assess a hefty fine.

Correctly Placing the Number(s)

You should place your licence number, as noted, on each side of the forward part of the boat, or the bow above the waterline. You can either paint each number or apply decaled letters and numerals. The numbers should be at least 3 inches high or 7.5 centimeters in height.

Height Is More Important than Width

The numbers should read from left to right, or horizontally, on each side. Make sure you use a block style font. Both the background and licence numbers should feature a sharp contrast. For example, the I.D. number, which includes letters, should use an Impact or Arial font. While the height is important, you don’t have to worry about the width. 

Therefore, you can use an Arial font that is regular or narrow or an Impact font, slim or wide.. Use colors, such as black against gray or white, white against red, or yellow against blue – all which make identification a breeze.

Separate the Numbers and Letters in the I.D.

Separate the letters from the numbers in the identification with a hyphen or a space, each of which should equal the width or the numbers and lettering. Don’t add anything besides the licence number (or required decals) on each side of the bow. If decals are used, you must display them on each side of the boat’s bow within 6 inches of the license number in alignment with the I.D. You can add a decal before or after the number.

If you choose to add lettering  or numbers instead of painting the I.D., it’s best to obtain the numerals and letters from a dealer that offers custom-cut vinyl letters and numbers with a stick-on backing. Vinyl is a durable material that weathers well in wind or rain. 

An Easy and Quick Way to Apply for a Licence

To obtain your licence (numbered I.D.) for your pleasure craft, download the application from the National Vessel Registry. It’s pretty simple to fill out the form as you just need to provide contact information, signatures, and boat info. If you need to transfer the licence, renew it, or make changes to your contact information, you can download and complete forms for these updates as well.

Licence Transfers, Renewals, and Changes

If you transfer the licence, renew it, or make an address or name change, you won’t be given a new licence number. Therefore, the licence number will not have to be removed and replaced. The  addition of your licence number is almost like adding a number in indelible ink. Its your “passport” for complying with Transport Canada’s regulations for keeping the waters safe.

Add Your I.D. First Before Navigating the Waterways

It’s good you’ve answered the question, “Where should a pleasure craft licence be displayed?” Now you can enjoy boating and all its rewards. Make sure you’ve met the licensing requirements first before you plan your boating holiday.