Do I need to register my boat in Canada?

Registration is optional for all pleasure craft.

When is it necessary to register a boat in Canada?

  • If you own a commercial vessel with a gross tonnage of 15 or more and powered by motors totaling 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more
  • if you have a marine mortgage
  • If you need to reserve a name
  • if you plan to travel outside of Canada

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.

How do I register a boat in Canada?

To register a vessel in Canada, you must submit a vessel Registration form to Transport Canada. You will need to include several documents in your application.

Toll-free telephone: 1-877-242-8770

How much does it cost to register a boat in Canada?

$250. For the registration or re-registration of a Certificate of Registry.

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. 

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.

Boat Licensing (pleasure craft license) and Registration: What's the Difference?

When you own a boat in Canada, whether you have purchased it brand new from a dealership or bought one on the secondary market from a broker or private seller, there are regulations that you need to follow so that you can legally put the boat in the water. There are regulations set forth by Transport Canada, the government department in charge of regulating vessels both commercial and recreational that you need to adhere to so you can get the proper documentation for your boat. In Canada, there are licences available, and there are registry certificates available, and there are differences between the two that you need to note.  

Do I need to license my boat in Canada (pleasure craft license)?

You must license your Licensed pleasure craft if it has a motor of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more, unless it is registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels. 

How do I license my boat in Canada? (Pleasure Craft License)

There is no fee to get a licence from Transport Canada, and there are forms you need to file with the agency so that you can obtain your licence.

To license a vessel in Canada, you must submit a vessel Pleasure craft license form to Transport Canada

Toll-free telephone: 1-800-267-6687

Who needs a PCOC? (Pleasure craft operator card)  

Similar to obtaining a driver's license for your car, a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) serves as proof of your competency in understanding the fundamental rules for safely operating a pleasure craft. If you do not currently possess a PCOC, you can easily obtain one by enrolling in a boating safety course and successfully passing the accompanying safety test. These courses are conveniently available both in traditional classroom settings and online. Determine if you meet the criteria for proving your competence as a pleasure craft operator. Once obtained, your boating license remains valid for a lifetime, ensuring your continued enjoyment on the water.