Your Qs Answered: Can a US Citizen Own a Registered Canadian Vessel?

Are you an American citizen hoping to register a vessel with the Canadian government? Do you have a Canadian vessel and are wondering whether to get it registered or to get a pleasure craft license? These are not small questions. These questions have always been important, but, in recent days in regards to the pandemic, borders, and the like, they’ve become even more salient. We’ve designed our site to be a resource for vessel owners from all over, so we’d like to answer some of the questions we’ve been asked below. 

Can a US Citizen Own a Registered Canadian Vessel? 

Short answer: no. To register a vessel with the Canadian government, to get a Certificate of Registration,” you need to be a Canadian citizen. Or, alternatively, you need to be a permanent resident, But, for he or a corporation registered with a Canadian province. So, hypothetically, you could be a permanent resident of Canada (having been born and lived in America) when you then register your vessel here. 

But, for the most part, only Canadian citizens are able to register their vessels with Transport Canada. 

Canadian vessel

Can US Citizens Bring Vessels Into Canada Now? 

This has actually changed recently. As you may have known, for 17 months, recreational boaters from the United States were not permitted to bring their vessels into Canadian waters. However, as of the last few months, this restriction has been lifted… mostly. Now, boaters from the United States may operate their vessels in Canadian waters. But, there are still plenty of restrictions on those United States boats. For example, they aren’t allowed to anchor, nor are they allowed to moor. Plus, they can’t come into contact with another boat, either. So, you can operate your vessels in Canadian waters, but that’s about it. 

Is a Pleasure Craft License the Same as Registration? 

This is perhaps the most common question that we’re asked, so we always like to take an opportunity to answer it. No. They are not the same. In fact, they’re complete opposites. You can’t have a pleasure craft license as well as a registered vessel.  For simplicity’s sake, if you’re going to use your vessel for commercial and/or governmental reasons, then you’re going to want to register your vessel. (even if it’s on the “small vessel registry.”) If you’re going to use your vessel to have fun (and not to make money) then you should probably get a pleasure craft license. 

A Resource for Canadian Vessel Documentation 

For most vessel owners, the very last thing they think about when it comes to their vessel is their licensing and/or documentation. That’s perfectly understandable. Indeed, we designed our site in part so that vessel owners wouldn’t have to worry about that. You can find all of the forms you might need for your vessel, whether it’s a pleasure craft license or registration, right here at our site.