Canadian Register of Vessels

Vessel Registration Office

Attention vessel owners: 

Acceptance of forms and documents

The Vessel Registration Office has undertaken a pilot project in which we will accept copies, PDFs and faxes of all vessel registration forms and all supporting documents.

Method of Payment

Transport Canada is currently unable to accept electronic payments. Until a new, secure electronic payment system is in place, we ask our clients to follow this temporary procedure for payment by credit card:

Credit card information must be sent by mail or facsimile to the address below.  To submit your payment by credit card, refer to either the Small Vessel Register (Commercial) Payment form or the Canadian Register of Vessels Payment form.

We will continue to accept payments by cheque or money order, payable to the “Receiver General for Canada.”

Mailing Address:
Transport Canada
Vessel Registration (AMSED)
330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8
Fax: 613-998-0637

Thank you for your cooperation.

Centralization of Vessel Registry

As of April 1, 2013, we have centralized our Vessel Registry services in Ottawa. Bringing all registry activities together in one place allows us to modernize the way we do things, offer uninterrupted service and provide a single point of access to all clients.

Image of a Pleasure Craft

The service needs of our clients continue to be our priority. As part of the centralization, Vessel Registry is undertaking a review of its Service Standards and business processes to seek further efficiencies.

Once the review has been completed, Marine Safety and Security will develop a new set of Service Standards in full consultation with clients. During this interim period, Vessel Registry services will continue to serve its clients on a first come first served basis.

Registering or Licensing Pleasure Craft

Note: You can either “license” or “register” your pleasure craft. A “licensed” pleasure craft is different from a “registered” pleasure craft.

Licensed pleasure craft

  • There are no fees to license your pleasure craft.
  • Pleasure craft licences are required for vessels used only for recreational purposes, do not carry passengers and are powered by an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5W) or more unless they are registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels.
  • Some examples of the markings on a licensed pleasure craft are 13K123456; BC1234567, 10D123456 or QC1234567.
  • Visit the Pleasure Craft Licences: Questions and Answers page for more information on licensing your pleasure craft.

Registered pleasure craft

  • There are fees to register your pleasure craft.
  • The exterior markings on a registered pleasure craft are the name of the vessel and port of registry, e.g. JOHN DOE, Toronto, ON
  • The interior markings on a registered pleasure craft are the official number and registered tonnage, e.g. O.N. 123456, N.R.T. 4.52
  • Refer to the Canadian Register of Vessels link below for more information on registering your pleasure craft.

Note: You must register your vessel in the Canadian Register of Vessels if you require a marine mortgage on the vessel.

Canadian Register of Vessels

If you own a non-pleasure vessel powered by an engine of 10hp (7.5kw) or more, or commercial river rafts in Canada, you must register them with Transport Canada’s Canadian Register of Vessels or the Small Vessel Register (Commercial).

Registration is a title system for vessel ownership. It is similar to land title registry. Registration allows for name approval and mortgage registration except in the case of a vessel registered in the Small Vessel Register.

Vessels under construction: A vessel that is about to be built or that is under construction in Canada may be temporarily recorded in the Register as a vessel being built in Canada.

While not required by law, pleasure craft owners may choose to register their vessels.

Note:  To learn more about vessels registered in Canada including the number of encumbrances (marine mortgages) allowed, visit the Vessel Registration Query System (VRQS) 

Qualified Persons

Transport Canada registers vessels in Canada as set out in Part 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001).

The Act states that to qualify as a registered owner(s), you must be :

  • A Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; or
  • A corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province and that the vessel is not registered in a foreign country.
  • A corporation incorporated under the laws of a foreign state if one of the following is acting with respect to all matters relating to the vessel, namely,
    • a subsidiary of the corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province,
    • an employee or a director in Canada of a branch office of the corporation that is carrying on business in Canada, or
    • a ship management company incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province.

Mandatory and Optional Registration

Mandatory registration of vessels:

46. (1) A vessel must be registered under this part if it

  1. is not a pleasure craft;
  2. is wholly owned by qualified persons; and
  3. is not registered, listed or otherwise recorded in a foreign state.

Mandatory registration — government vessels

46. (3) Every government vessel must be registered under this Part.

Optional registration: Owners may register the following vessels under Part 2 Section 47 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001), unless they are registered in a foreign country:

  1. a pleasure craft that is wholly owned by qualified persons;
  2. a vessel that is exempted under the regulations from the registration requirement in subsection 46(1) and that is wholly owned by qualified persons;
  3. a vessel that is owned by a corporation incorporated under the laws of a foreign state if one of the following is acting with respect to all matters relating to the vessel, namely:
    1. a subsidiary of the corporation, that is incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province,
    2. an employee, or director in Canada of any branch office of the corporation that is carrying on business in Canada, or
    3. a vessel management company, incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province; and
  4. A vessel in the exclusive possession of a qualified person under a financing agreement under which the person will acquire ownership when the agreement is complete.

Registration and Change in Ownership

First Time Registration

The fee for first registration and re-registration in the Large Vessel Register is $250.00.

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”.

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

To register a vessel you must provide:

  • A completed Application for Registry - You have to provide us with three choices of vessel name on this form and choose a Port of Registry.
  • A Statement of Qualification to prove that you are eligible to be a registered owner. If there are multiple owners, each owner must complete a separate Statement of Qualification form.
  • An Appointment of Authorized Representative - This must be signed by all the owners. This is required only if there is more than one owner or if a foreign corporation owns the vessel.
  • For a vessel built in Canada, provide:
    1. Builder’s Certificate
      • If the vessel was built for you (the applicant), you must provide the Builder’s Certificate.
      • If you purchased the vessel, you must provide the builder’s certificate and any intervening Bill(s) of Sale demonstrating complete sequence of title.
  • For a foreign-built vessel, provide:
    1. Either the notarized Bill of Sale from the last foreign owner to you; or if you are not the first Canadian owner, all Bills of Sale showing the sequence of title up to you; and
    2. Proof of closing the vessel’s foreign registry, free and clear of all encumbrances, with a “Deletion Certificate”.
  • Have the vessel measured for tonnage under Canadian rules by one of the following methods:
    • Non-Calculated Tonnage (Assigned Formal Tonnage)
      • Less than 8.5 m = gross tonnage of 4.99
      • 8.5m or more but less than 10 m = gross tonnage of 9.99
      • 10 m or more but less than 12m = gross tonnage of 14.99
    • Calculated Tonnage Measurement

Send completed documents to the Vessel Registration Office.

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay the issuance of your Certificate(s) of Registry.

For help or information about vessel registration, contact the Vessel Registration Office through the North American toll-free telephone number: 1-877-242-8770 or by email at VR-IB@TC.GC.CA.

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Registration of a Government Vessel

The fee for first registration and re-registration is $250.00.

For Provincial Government: If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General for Canada”.

For Federal Government: You must pay using the Interdepartmental Settlement (IS) Process.

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

To register a vessel you must provide:

  • A completed Application for Registry - You have to provide us with three choices of vessel name on this form and choose a Port of Registry.
  • For a vessel built in Canada, provide:
    1. Builder’s Certificate
      • If the vessel was built for you (the applicant), you must provide the Builder’s Certificate.
      • If you purchased the vessel, you must provide the builder’s certificate and any intervening Bill(s) of Sale demonstrating complete sequence of title.
  • For a foreign-built vessel, provide:
    1. Either the notarized Bill of Sale from the last foreign owner to you; or if you are not the first Canadian owner, all Bills of Sale showing the sequence of title up to you; and
    2. Proof of closing the vessel’s foreign registry, free and clear of all encumbrances, with an original “Deletion Certificate”. 
  • Have the vessel measured for tonnage under Canadian rules using one of the following methods:
    • Non-Calculated Tonnage  (Assigned Formal Tonnage)
      • Less than 8.5 m = gross tonnage of 4.99
      • 8.5m or more but less than 10 m = gross tonnage of 9.99
      • 10 m or more but less than 12m = gross tonnage of 14.99
    • Calculated Tonnage Measurement

Send completed documents to the Vessel Registration Office.

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay the issuance of your Certificate(s) of Registry.

For help or information about vessel registration, contact the Vessel Registration Office through the North American toll-free telephone number: 1-877-242-8770 or by email at VR-IB@TC.GC.CA.

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Registration Renewal

There is no fee to renew your Certificate of Registry.

We will issue a new Certificate of Registry 60 days before your registration expires. Contact us if you do not receive the renewal certificate at least two weeks before the expiry date, because you must always have a valid Certificate of Registry on board the vessel.

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Transfer of Ownership

The fee for transfer of ownership is $150.00.

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”.

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

To change ownership of your vessel, you must provide:

  • Marine Bill of Sale - to be executed by the present registered owner(s);
  • A Statement of Qualification to be completed by the new owner. Please note that if there is more than one owner, each owner must complete a separate Statement of Qualification;
  • An Appointment of Authorized Representative - This must be signed by all the owners. This is required only if there is more than one owner or if a foreign corporation owns the vessel;

If you cannot produce a Marine Bill of Sale from the registered owner, you must complete a statutory declaration. You must make the declaration before a Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Oaths, or any other person authorized by law to administer oaths in the province or territory in which you make the declaration.

Send completed documents to the Vessel Registration Office.

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay the issuance of your Certificate(s) of Registry.

For help or information about vessel registration, contact the Vessel Registration Office through the North American toll-free telephone number: 1-877-242-8770 or by email at VR-IB@TC.GC.CA.

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Transfer on Death of a Joint Owner

There is no fee for the transfer on death of a joint owner.

Send completed documents to the Vessel Registration Office.

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay the issuance of your Certificate(s) of Registry.

For help or information about vessel registration, contact the Vessel Registration Office through the North American toll-free telephone number: 1-877-242-8770 or by email at VR-IB@TC.GC.CA.

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Transfer on Death of an Owner

The fee for transfer on death is $150.00.

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”.

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

  • Probate of a Will or Letters of Administration;

    Note: If Provincial Laws waive the requirement for the Will to be probated, a notarized letter confirming this fact is required.

  • Death or burial certificate or presumption of death;
  • Declaration of Transmission - a separate form is to be completed by each executor/administrator;
  • An Appointment of Authorized Representative - This must be signed by all the executors/administrators. This is required only if there is more than one executor/administrator.

Send completed documents to the Vessel Registration Office.

Please note incomplete forms will be returnedidentifying the missing information and will delay the issuance of your Certificate(s) of Registry.

For help or information about vessel registration, contact the Vessel Registration Office through the North American toll-free telephone number: 1-877-242-8770 or by email at VR-IB@TC.GC.CA.

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Ports of Registry

You may choose one of the following Ports of Registry names for your vessel:

Newfoundland-and-Labrador

St. John’s

Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown

Nova Scotia

Digby
Halifax
Liverpool
Lunenburg
Port Hawkesbury
Shelburne
Sydney
Weymouth
Yarmouth

New Brunswick

Bathurst
Caraquet
Grand Manan
Moncton
St. Andrews
Saint John

Quebec

Cap-aux-Meules
Chicoutimi
Gaspé
Montreal
Québec
Sorel
Trois-Rivières

Ontario

Belleville
Brockville
Chatham
Cornwall
Goderich
Hamilton
Kenora
Kingston
Midland
Nanticoke (Port Dover)
Ottawa
Owen Sound
Peterborough
Port Colborne
Prescott
St.Catharines
Sarnia
Sault Ste-Marie
Thunder Bay
Toronto
Wallaceburg
Windsor

Manitoba

Winnipeg

Saskatchewan

Prince Albert

Alberta

Edmonton

British Columbia

Nanaimo
Prince Rupert
Port Alberni
Vancouver
Victoria

Yukon Territory

Dawson
Whitehorse

Northwest Territories

Hay River
Yellowknife

Nunavut

Iqualuit


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Change of Address

There is no fee for a change of address.

To report a change of address, send a message via e-mail, mail or facsimile to the Vessel Registration Office. It should include:

  • Name of Vessel
  • Official Number
  • Port of Registry
  • Owner’s Name
  • New address

NEW: If you do not contact us about a change of address, we may suspend or cancel your registration.

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Mortgages

Only vessels registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels may have mortgages. To learn if a registered vessel has a mortgage, please first check the Vessel Registration Query System (VRQS) under the field “Number of Encumbrances”. If you want information on a mortgage, you may request a certified or uncertified Transcript of Registry by writing to the Vessel Registration Office.

Note: Vessels in the Small Commercial Vessel Registry are not permitted to have a mortgage.

New Mortgage

The fee to register a marine mortgage is $150.00.

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”. 

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

To register a marine mortgage, you must provide:

  • A completed Mortgage Form - must be completed and signed by all registered owners.

Send completed documents to the Vessel Registration Office.

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay the issuance of your Certificate(s) of Registry.

For help or information about vessel registration, contact the Vessel Registration Office through the North American toll-free telephone number: 1-877-242-8770 or by email at VR-IB@TC.GC.CA.

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Discharge of Mortgage

There is no fee to discharge a marine mortgage.

To discharge a marine mortgage, you must provide:

  • The Mortgage Form with the “Discharge of Mortgage” section completed and signed by the mortgagee.

    Note: In the case where the Mortgage deed cannot be located, it having been lost or destroyed, the mortgagee must complete and sign a Declaration before a Commissioner of Oaths. If you would like a copy of an example declaration, please contact the Vessel Registration Office.

If the mortgagee is a:

  • Canadian bank - the discharge must be signed according to the bank’s Power of Attorney and Signing Authority List. The title of the individual(s) signing on behalf of the bank must match exactly what is on the Power of Attorney and Signing Authority List.
  • Corporation/Credit Union/Caisse populaire - the discharge must be made by any Officer or Director of the corporation who has the authority to bind the corporation.

Send completed documents to the Vessel Registration Office.

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay the issuance of your Certificate(s) of Registry.

For help or information about vessel registration, contact the Vessel Registration Office through the North American toll-free telephone number: 1-877-242-8770 or by email at VR-IB@TC.GC.CA.

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Transfer of Mortgage

The fee to transfer a marine mortgage is $150.00.

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”. 

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

To transfer a marine mortgage, you must provide:

  • The Mortgage Form with the section “Transfer of Mortgage” completed.

    Note: In the case where the Mortgage deed cannot be located, it having been lost or destroyed, the mortgagee must complete and sign a Declaration before a Commissioner of Oaths. If you would like a copy of an example declaration, please contact the Vessel Registration Office.

Send completed documents to the Vessel Registration Office.

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay the issuance of your Certificate(s) of Registry.

For help or information about vessel registration, contact the Vessel Registration Office through the North American toll-free telephone number: 1-877-242-8770 or by email at VR-IB@TC.GC.CA.

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Transcripts and Historical Research

Transcripts

Note: For general information on vessels registered in Canada including the number of encumbrances, visit the Vessel Registration Query System (VRQS)

The fee for a certified transcript is $50.00 and the fee for an uncertified transcript is $20.00

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”.

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

  • You may request a certified or uncertified transcript via e-mail, mail or facsimile to the Vessel Registration Office.

    Note: We will not share information on encumbrances over the phone.

  • The information in an uncertified transcript is for general information only. In the event that the information is required for legal or official purposes, a certified transcript should be obtained. A certified transcript is certified/verified by a Registrar that the particulars are true.
  • The Registry does not assume legal responsibility for uncertified transcripts or for telephone advice.

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Historical Research

The fees for historical research are as follows:

  • Per non-active vessel when the research requires searching various information sources other than the computer database - $10.00
  • Per active vessel when the research requires searching various information other than the computer database - $5.00
  • Per printed page for active and non-active vessels when the research requires use of the computer database - $2.00

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”.

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

If you require historical data on a registered or closed vessel, we can provide you with the information from our Ship Registration Computer System Database from 1984 to present. If the vessel was registered prior to 1984 (which is the year the automated system was implemented), we can provide you with the information on microfilm from 1904 to 1984. The last owner named on the microfilm should be the owner that is shown in the Ship Registration Computer System Database when the data was transferred from the microfilm to the automated system.

In order to search information on a registered or closed vessel, we require the Official Number and/or the Name of the vessel. It is impossible to search on microfilm without this information.

Your written request for historical research should be forwarded to the Vessel Registration Office.

In addition, Library and Archives Canada has records of transactions from 1787 accessible through electronic means at the following link. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/ship-registration/index-e.html.

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Travelling Abroad

For owners of non-registered vessels travelling abroad:

While not required by law, pleasure craft owners may choose to register their vessels in the Canadian Register of Vessels, as certain countries have different requirements for vessels docked at their ports.

For owners of registered vessels travelling abroad:

If you plan to travel abroad, please ensure your Certificate of Registry is valid or will not expire during your travels.  Contact the Vessel Registration Office if you need to renew your certificate early.

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Bareboat Charter Registration

Bareboat Charters in Canada

The fee to register a bareboat charter in Canada is $200.00 for each 6 months up to 2 years, up to a maximum of 5 consecutive years.

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”.

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

Foreign applicants can register their commercial vessels as bareboat charters within Canada. However, they must meet the following conditions:

  1. The vessel must be registered in a country that has a reciprocal agreement with Canada with respect to Bareboat charters.
  2. The owner of the bareboat must have Canadian representation that meets the definition of “Qualified Person” under the CSA 2001.

Bareboat Chartering your Canadian Vessel into a foreign Register

The fee to begin is $100.00, and $50.00 to reinstate your Canadian vessel. You may suspend your vessel for bareboat chartering up to a maximum of 5 consecutive years.

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”.

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Vessel Registration

Changes to Vessel Registry

Q1. How can I send my paperwork to your office?

A1. As of June 2014, we adopted a new pilot project, and are now accepting copies of forms received by mail, e-mail and secure facsimile. Should an original bill of sale or deletion certificate be received, we will continue to return these documents to you once your vessel has been registered.

Although we are now accepting copies, there may be some circumstances where the Registrar will request an original document if a copy is not acceptable.

Q2. Do you have walk-in service?

A2. No. All of our registry offices have been centralized to Ottawa, ON. You can reach our registry office toll free at 1-877-242-8770.

Q3. How can I send my credit card payments?

A3. You can submit credit card payments by secure fax or mail to the Vessel Registration Office. We are unable to accept electronic payments at this time.

Payments may also be sent by cheque or money orders made payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”.

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Registering a vessel

Q1. What is the Canadian Register of Vessels?

A1. This is the official register of all registered or listed (bare-boat charter) vessels, vessels under construction. It contains information on each vessel, such as ownership and mortgage details; and vessel characteristics such as tonnage, construction material and type.

Q2. What vessels are required to have a Certificate of Registry?

A2. In Canada, all non-pleasure vessels powered by an engine of 10hp (7.5kw) or more and commercial river rafts must be registered with Transport Canada’s Canadian Register of Vessels or Small Vessel Register (Commercial).

Q3. What forms and documentation are required to apply for a Certificate of Registry?

A3. Please see First Time Registration for the forms and documentation required.

Q4. What is the fee for a First Time Registration?

A4. The fee is $250.00, payable by cheque or money order to the Receiver General of Canada. You may also pay by Visa, Mastercard or AMEX. You will find other fees online at Vessels Registry Fees

Q5. How do I renew my Certificate of Registry?

A Certificate of Registry is valid for three (3) years. Transport Canada will issue a Certificate of Registry to the owner or the authorized representative 30 days before it expires. If they do not receive the Certificate of Registry at least two weeks before the day it expires, they should contact the Registrar at the Vessel Registration Office, because a valid Certificate of Registry must be on board the vessel at all times.

To ensure that your Certificate of Registry remains valid, you must report any change(s) to the information shown on the Certificate of Registry, including a change of address, in writing, to the Vessel Registration Office within 30 days of having made the changes. If you do not, Transport Canada may suspend or cancel your registration. Anyone operating a vessel with an invalid document violates the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and is liable to prosecution.

Q6. What is vessel tonnage?

A6. Tonnage is not about the weight. It is a measurement of the vessel's internal volume. Tonnage refers to the overall volume of a vessel.

Q7. How do I calculate the tonnage of my vessel?

A7. Have the vessel measured for tonnage under Canadian rules using one of the following methods:

  • Non-Calculated Tonnage (Assigned Formal Tonnage)
    • Less than 8.5 m = gross tonnage of 4.99
    • 8.5m or more but less than 10 m = gross tonnage of 9.99
    • 10 m or more but less than 12m = gross tonnage of 14.99
  • Have the vessel measured for tonnage by simplified method or by a professional Tonnage Measurer.
    1. See this page to learn about Tonnage measurers
Q8. What are the marking requirements?

A8. Your Certificate of Registry is not valid until you have your vessel marked according to requirements noted on the back of your Certificate of Registry:

  • Name and Port of Registry:

    For pleasure craft and air cushion vehicles, both the name and port of registry must be marked together on a clearly visible exterior part of the hull. For commercial vessels, the vessel name must be marked on each bow and the vessel name and port of registry must be marked on the stern. If the vessel has a square bow, the name may be marked on a clearly visible exterior part of the bow. You may make the markings by any means and materials that result in durable markings. All must be at least 10 cm in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. Port of registry marking may consist of the port only, or may include both the port and the province. Only the province may be abbreviated by using the two-letter Canada Post symbol.

  • Registered tonnage and official number:

    Both the official number and registered tonnage shown on the Certificate of Registry must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least 4 cm high on a clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. Place the abbreviation:

    • “N.R.T.” before the registered tonnage
    • “O.N.” before the official number

      Note: Make sure these numbers are permanently affixed so that changes to, and attempts to remove or replace them would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area.

Q9. What is a joint owner?

A9. For registration purposes, the property in a vessel is made up of 64 indivisible shares. Up to five people may register as joint owners of all 64 shares; and are considered as one unit, although all of their names are listed in the Canadian Register of Vessels.

You can sell a share only when all joint owners act together to sell it. You may do so using the Bill of Sale.

 
Q10. What happens to the vessel when one joint owner dies?

A10. Please see Transfer on Death of a Joint Owner for the forms and process.

 
Q11. How do I report a change of ownership?

A11. Please see Transfer of Ownership for the forms and process.

 
Q12. How do I report a change of address?

A12. Please see Change of Address for the process.

 
Q13. What can I do if I have lost or misplaced my Certificate of Registry?

A13. Request a replacement in writing to the Vessel Registration Office. Include the Official Number, Vessel Name and Port of Registry along with payment of $50.00.

If you are paying by credit card, please use the Large Vessel Registration Payment Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to the “Receiver General for Canada”.

Please consult Vessel Registry Fees.

 
Q14. What is a bare-boat chartered vessel?

A14. “Bare-boat Charter" means a vessel charter agreement under which the charterer has complete possession and control of the vessel, including the right to appoint its master and crew.

Bare-boat Charter (IN)

A vessel registered in a foreign country that is bare-boat chartered exclusively to a qualified person may be listed as a bare-boat chartered vessel if, for the duration of the charter, the registration is suspended in respect of the right to fly the flag of that country. The form required is the Application for Bare-boat Charter Registry.

Bare-boat Charter (OUT)

A vessel registered in Canada applying for bare-boat charter will lose its right to fly the Canadian flag while it remains on the registry of a foreign country as a bare-boat chartered vessel.

 
Q15. When a vessel is either suspended or closed, is the name available?

A15. The name of a vessel is not available until the Registry is officially closed.

 
Q16. Why are owners’ names and addresses visible on the Vessel Registration Query System (VRQS)?

A16. Section 76 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 provides access to the Canadian Register of Vessels as a public register and a person may examine or obtain copies of any entries in the Register with respect to a vessel.

 
Q17. Why does the Vessel Registration Query System (VRQS) show my vessel as suspended?

A17. A vessel is temporarily removed from active registry status when an owner/authorized representative fails to keep the registry current by not reporting changes (e.g. Change of address). You will find reasons for suspending a registration in Section 60 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

 
Q18. Where can I find information on a vessel with the number 50E12345 or BC12345?

A18. If there is a number-letter combination on the boat's bow (e.g., 50E12345, BC12345), it is a licensed pleasure craft. To learn more about pleasure craft licensing, visit Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety or call the Boating Safety InfoLine at 1-800-267-6687. Please visit Pleasure Craft Licences: Questions and Answers for more information.

 
Q19. I am buying a used boat. How can I tell if it is registered or licensed?

A19. If there is a number-letter combination on the boat's bow (e.g., 32E 00000, BC00000), it is a licensed pleasure craft.

To learn more about pleasure craft licensing, visit Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety, or call the Boating Safety InfoLine at 1-800-267-6687. Please visit Pleasure Craft Licences: Questions and Answers for more information.

If there is a name and port of registry on the exterior part of the hull, it is a registered vessel. To learn more about registration of vessels, visit the Canadian Register of Vessels.

  Licensing Registration
Fee No Yes
Exterior marking 13K123456, BC1234567, 10D12345, QC1234567 Vessel Name: “JOHN DOE”
Port of Registry: “Toronto, ON”
Interior marking None Official Number: O.N. 123456
Net Registered Tonnage: N.R.T. 10.52
Marine Mortgage No Yes
Travel Pleasure craft is principally operated and maintained in Canada Pleasure craft may travel in foreign waters

A vessel whose number begins with the letter "C" (e.g., C00000BC) is a Small Commercial Vessel, which was either licensed before July 1, 2007, or registered as of July 1, 2007 in the Small Vessel Register, and is the responsibility of Transport Canada. These licences or Certificates of Registry (Small Commercial Vessel Register) are issued by the Vessel Registration Office in the National Capital Region. To learn more about a specific licence or certificate, please contact the Vessel Registration Office in the National Capital Region by calling toll-free at 1-877-242-8770.

 
Q20. When my vessel is registered using the Assigned Formal Tonnage method, the net tonnage does not appear on my Certificate of Registry. How do I mark my vessel?

A20. You must put “not applicable” or “N/A” along with your official number, e.g. N.R.T – Not applicable, ON 123456

 
Q21. What are the duties of an Authorized Representative?

A21. The authorized representative has the overall responsibility for safety of the vessel. Even though not always on board, the authorized representative must ensure that the vessel’s machinery and equipment meet the requirements of the Act and Regulations.

The authorized representative is also responsible for notifying Vessel Registration should any changes be made to the vessel, including alterations, changes in address or removal from service, as per section 58 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

 
Q22. What are the rules on trademark for a vessel name?

A22. If the name infringes on the wares of the registered trademark or the name is a prohibited mark, it cannot be used on a registered vessel. service, as per Ssection 58 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

 
Q23. Can a dinghy have the same official number as a registered vessel?

A23. Vessels (dinghy or zodiac, etc.) that are considered part of the lifesaving equipment of the registered vessel (not used for any purpose other than evacuation) do not have to be registered but should be marked "TENDER TO [NAME AND OFFICIAL NUMBER OF THE REGISTERED VESSEL]". If it is not part of the lifesaving equipment, then it must either be licensed or registered separately.

 
Q24. What is the difference between a vessel whose number begins with the letter "C" (e.g., C00000BC) as opposed to a vessel whose number begins with a number, and/or a letter and numbers (e.g., 32E 00000 or BC 00000)?

A24: A vessel whose number begins with the letter "C" (e.g., C00000BC) is a small commercial vessel, which was either licensed prior to July 1, 2007, or registered as of July 1, 2007 in the Small Vessel Register. For more information on a specific licence or certificate, please contact the Vessel Registration Office in the National Capital Region by calling toll-free at 1-877-242-8770.

A vessel whose number begins with a number, and/or a letter (e.g., 32E 00000 or BC 00000) is a licensed pleasure craft. To learn more about pleasure craft licensing, visit Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety, or call the Boating Safety Info Line at 1-800-267-6687.

Mortgages

Q1. What is a mortgage?

A1. A mortgage is a legal document that creates a security for a loan or other financial consideration, whereby, the registered vessel or share or a share of it is used as security. The person using the vessel as security and receiving the loan is called the mortgagor. The person taking the vessel as security and usually giving the loan is called the mortgagee.

Only vessels registered in the Canadian Registry of Vessels can have mortgages recorded against them. To learn if a registered vessel has a mortgage, please first check the Vessel Registration Query System (VRQS). You may also request a certified or uncertified Transcript of Registry in writing to the Vessel Registration Office.

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Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs)

Q1. How do I apply to register a commercial Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV)?

A1. You must complete an Application for Registry form or an Application for Registry (Small Vessel Register) form. Both forms are available from the Vessel Registration Office or online by selecting Vessel Registration Forms or from Transport Canada's Forms Catalogue. You may contact the Vessel Registration Office by calling toll-free at 1-877-242-8770 or by facsimile at 613-998-0637.

Q2. How is tonnage determined for the registration of an Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV)?

A2. You may register a commercial ACV equal to or less than 4,500 kg/4.5 metric tonnes All-Up Weight (AUW) in either the Canadian Register of Vessels or the Small Vessel Register.

You must register a commercial ACV greater than 4,500 kg/4.5 metric tonnes AUW in the Canadian Register of Vessels.

To learn more, please call the Vessel Registration office toll-free at 1-877-242-8770.

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Publications and Queries

Q1. How do I make a historical query?

A1. You must provide at least two of the following:

  • Official Number
  • Vessel's Name
  • Vessel's Owner

Send your query either to the Registrar at the Vessel Registration Office, or call toll-free at 1-877-242-8770 or send a facsimile to 613-998-0637. Please refer to the Vessels Registry Fees to learn about the associated costs.