If you’ve purchased a pleasure craft in Canada, you need to decide if you should get a pleasure craft license or a pleasure craft registration. Let’s talk about the difference between the two options and then we can decide which is best for you.
The rule: In Canada pleasure crafts that are powered by a 10 HP engine or higher must either have a pleasure craft license assigned to them or must have a vessel registration.
Pleasure craft licence
This license is free to obtain and is valid for 10 years. You have 90 days to get a new license or transfer the existing licence assigned to the boat into your name after purchase. The license assigns numbers that need to be displayed on both sides of the bow above the water line. The numbers have to be displayed in block letters with a colour that is contrast to the haul colour. The numbers have to be at least 3 inches high.
A pleasure craft license is in place to assist search and rescue crews in case you need their help. This licence is transferrable if the boat is sold. A pleasure craft license can be obtained at many service Canada locations or online.
The issue: What this license doesn’t do is provide proof of ownership or a deed. The licensing system is simply a registry that can be used by emergency personnel in case you find yourself in trouble. Proof of ownership has be established in other ways like;
- Sales agreement proving you purchased the boat from the previous owner.
Registering your pleasure craft will cost you 250$. This option will provide proof of ownership, a deed, and will allow you to register the boat name as well as display your port of origin. example: JOHN DOE, Toronto, ON
To register your boat you will need a completed “application or registry” where you can provide 3 choices of vessel name, a ”statement of Qualification” to prove that you are illegible to be a registered owner and provide a “builder’s certificate”. You can find more information on the transport Canada vessel registration office.
So what option is right for you? only you can decide what your comfortable with. I would suggest that if you are planning to travel to the United States on a regular basis then registering you pleasure craft is a good idea. I would also suggest registering if your boat is expensive and you want a deed for it. On the other hand if your going to use your boat locally and are comfortable proving ownership otherwise, licensing it would be a good choice because its free and less time consuming than registration. Good luck!