The Canadian Register of Vessels is the official register of all registered or listed vessels, vessels under construction and bare-boat charters. It contains information on each vessel, such as ownership and mortgage details, vessel characteristics, such as tonnage, construction material and type. Although there are costs involved, registration gives you some important benefits, which include a proof of ownership (legal title) for your boat, the right to fly the Canadian flag, a unique name, and official number for your boat, as well as the right to use your boat as security for a marine mortgage.
Registration is optional for all pleasure craft, regardless of tonnage and length, as per the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Note that the registration requirements based on tonnage are no longer required.
There are costs associated with registering. However, the registration is good for as long as you own the vessel. You must carry registration documents on board the vessel at all times, together with any other ownership documents, to help avoid delays clearing U.S. or Canada customs, or in case of a fine. All required forms are available from any port of registry across Canada, or visit the Vessel Registration Office website.
This law does not apply if the boat is registered or licensed in accordance with the laws of another country and not principally maintained or operated in Canada, for a life raft or other survival craft that is part of the equipment of a ship, as well as for an amphibious vehicle for which a provincial automobile licence for highway travel is required.
Make sure that you have obtained your pleasure craft operator card for this summer, if you have not already done so.