Small Vessel Register (Commercial)

In Canada, all small non-pleasure vessels powered by an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more and commercial river rafts must be registered with Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Register or the Canadian Register of Vessels. Vessel owners who do not have a valid registration for their vessels can be subject to fines under the Canada Shipping Act 2001.

Small commercial vessels that were licensed with Canada Customs prior to 1998 on behalf of Transport Canada must now be registered in the Small Vessel Register. Licences issued under this system will no longer be valid as of July 1st, 2012.

Registration, Renewal and Change of Ownership:

Select a link below to begin the registration process, renew a registration or to complete forms for change of ownership.

Cost:
Registration, renewal or change of ownership in the Small Vessel Register costs $50 and the Certificate of Registry is valid for 5 years. In some cases, a flat fee is available. See this page to learn about the Vessel Registry Fees Tariff.

Change of Address:

To change an address in the Small Vessel Register send a message (via e-mail, mail or facsimile) to the Vessel Registration Office. It should include:

  • Owner's name
  • The old and new address
  • Official number for vessel as shown on your Certificate of Registry.

There is no fee for a change of address.

Interim Voluntary Registration (Vessels not requiring registration)

Overview

Registration for small non-pleasure human-powered vessels (such as canoes or kayaks), or small sailing vessels and small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) is not required, however owners have the option to register voluntarily.

Vessel owners or operators must still comply with construction, safety, and pollution requirements set out in the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

Interim Voluntary Registration for Small Non-Pleasure Human-powered Vessels or Small Sailing Vessels and Small Power-driven Vessels With Propulsion Motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW)

Interim Voluntary Registration for Small Government Owned Small Human-powered Vessels or Small Sailing Vessels and Small Power-driven Vessels With Propulsion Motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW)

FAQ's Interim Voluntary Registration

Interim Voluntary Registration for Non-Pleasure Human-powered Vessels or Small Sailing Vessels and Small Power-driven Vessels with Propulsion Motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW)

Registration for commercial human-powered vessels (such as canoes or kayaks), or sailing vessels and small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) is not required, but owners have the option to register voluntarily.

To register, renew or change ownership of a human-powered vessel, or sailing vessel and a small power-driven vessel with a propulsion motor less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) you must provide:

  • Payment of $50.00. If you are paying by credit card, include your credit card information on the Application Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General for Canada”. If you are registering two (2) or more vessels with the same owner, you qualify for a $50.00 flat fee.
  • An Authorized Representative form is required if:
    • there is more than one owner. It must be completed and signed by all of the owners appointing one of them as the vessel’s "Authorized Representative".
    • a foreign corporation is the owner. The form must be completed by the foreign corporation appointing a Canadian representative as the "Authorized Representative".
  • You may register more than one vessel as a fleet. The vessels in the fleet must all be of the same descriptor and sub-descriptor. If you are registering a fleet of vessels you must provide:
    • A completed Application form
    • Payment of a flat fee of $50.00 for the fleet of vessels.

Mail completed documents to:

Vessel Registration
Operations & Environmental Programs
Marine Safety
Safety and Security
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8

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.
 

Interim Voluntary Registration of Small Government Owned Human-powered Vessels, or Sailing Vessels and Small Power-driven Vessels with Propulsion Motors Less Than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW)

Registration for small government owned human-powered vessels (such as canoes or kayaks), or sailing vessels and small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) is not required, however owners have the option to register voluntarily.

To register, renew or change ownership of human-powered vessels, sailing vessels or small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) you must provide:

  • A completed Application form
  • Payment of $50.00 per vessel.
    • Federal Government:
      Payment must be processed via the Inter-Departmental Settlement (IS) process. The government department applying for registration must provide the following information: Organization Code, Department Code, and Reference Number
    • Provincial/Municipal Government:
      If you are paying by credit card, include your credit card information on the Application Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General for Canada”.
  • You may register more than one vessel as a fleet. The vessels in the fleet must all be of the same descriptor and sub-descriptor. If you are registering a fleet of vessels you must provide:
  • A completed Application form,
  • Payment of flat fee of $50.00 for the fleet of vessels.

Mail completed documents to:

Vessel Registration
Operations & Environmental Programs
Marine Safety
Safety and Security
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay in 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.

FAQ's Interim Voluntary Registration

Interim Registration for Human-powered Vessels, or Sailing Vessels and Small Power-driven Vessels with Propulsion Motors Less Than 10hp (7.5kW)

Q1: What are human-powered vessels?

A1: A human-powered vessel is a vessel that is propelled by no other means of propulsion than human. Examples include canoes, kayaks, and dragon boats.

Q2: Which vessels are not required to be registered?

A2: Registration for all non-pleasure human-powered vessels (such as canoes and kayaks), small sailing vessels, and small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts), is temporarily suspended.

This policy does not apply to commercial river-rafts, and, in the future, those vessels deemed necessary by the Minister to be registered for reasons of safety. However, should the owners of a human-powered vessel, small sailing vessel, or small power-driven vessel with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) wish to register their vessel, they are free to do so voluntarily. A simplified registration process has been created for those who wish to register voluntarily.

Q3: Why did Transport Canada update the registration policy for non-pleasure human-powered vessels (such as canoes and kayaks), small sailing vessels, and small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts)?

A3: Transport Canada adopted a vessel registration policy to ensure that registration is sensible, efficient, and fair for all Canadians.

Registration for all non-pleasure human-powered vessels, such as canoes and kayaks, small sailing vessels, and small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) is temporarily suspended.

This policy does not apply to commercial river-rafts, and, in the future, those vessels deemed necessary by the Minister to be registered for reasons of safety. However, should the owners of a human-powered vessel, small sailing vessel, or small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) wish to register their vessel, they are free to do so voluntarily. A simplified registration process has been created for those who wish to register voluntarily.

Q4: How long will the interim policy temporarily suspend registration for?

A4: The interim policy will be in effect until Transport Canada completes the review of registration requirements, takes into consideration comments already received and from future consultations with stakeholders to ensure a sensible, efficient, and fair registration system for all Canadians.

Should owners of a human-powered vessel, small sailing vessel, or a small power-driven vessel with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) wish to register their vessel, they are still able to do so voluntarily. A simplified registration process has been created for human-powered vessels for those who wish to register voluntarily.

Q5: Can I still register my vessel even if I am not required to do so?

A5: Yes, owners of small human-powered vessels, small sailing vessels, or small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) can still register their vessel(s) if they choose to do so.

Q6: Is it safe if I choose not to register my vessel?

A6: The safety of vessel operators is Transport Canada's top priority.

Transport Canada adopted a registration policy for all non-pleasure human-powered vessels, small sailing vessels, and small power-driven  vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts), to ensure that registration is sensible, efficient, and fair for all Canadians. However, for those vessels that are not required to be registered, vessel owners and operators must still comply with construction, safety, and pollution prevention requirements set out in the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

For more information about construction, safety and pollution prevention requirements outlined in the CSA 2001, please visit: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/C-10.15/index.html.

Q7: How long is the registration valid for?

A7: A Certificate of Registry is valid for a period of five years.

The Office of Vessel Registration will notify the owner in writing 30 days prior to the expiry of the Certificate of Registry. The notification will provide the owner with the necessary documents for renewal. A fee of $50.00 is applicable for the renewal of registration.

Q8: What are the benefits of registering my vessel?

A8: There are many benefits to registering your vessel(s). For example, registered vessel owners:

  • can receive timely and important Transport Canada safety bulletins and safety guidance materials;
  • contribute to statistics that can help Transport Canada gain a better understanding of safety risks on Canada's waters;
  • help improve Transport Canada's ability to consult on important regulatory safety initiatives; and
  • help Transport Canada better design, implement, and support important safety initiatives.

Q9: What is the Canadian Register of Vessels used for?

A9: The Canadian Register of Vessels is the official repository of information on all registered vessels in Canada. It contains information on each vessel, such as ownership and mortgage details, and vessel characteristics such as tonnage, construction material and type.

Q10: What are the requirements for registration?

A10: To register, you must be a:

  • Canadian citizen;
  • permanent resident; or
  • corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province.

Q11: What are the requirements to register a "fleet" of vessels?

A11: To register a group of two or more vessels as a "fleet" the vessels must be:

  1. Owned by the same owner. "Same owner" means: two or more persons that are registered as joint owners of 64 shares, which represents 100% ownership of a Canadian vessel. Joint owners cannot act separately in disposing of any part of their interest, or in any of the legal transactions connected with Registry. Property is automatically transferred to the other owner upon death or bankruptcy.;
  2. The same vessel descriptor and sub-descriptor.

Q12: Should I wish to register more than one vessel, which documents do I have to submit?

A12: To register more than one vessel, owners must complete and submit the following documents:

Q13: If I have a fleet of vessels, how is the official number assigned to the fleet?

A13: For owners with a fleet of vessels, one official number will be assigned to the fleet. However, the owner is required to display the official number, along with a suffix on each of the vessels.

For example:
C12345ON -1
C12345ON -2

Vessel owners are responsible for maintaining an inventory of their fleet within a range (e.g. 2-50 or 2-100).

Q14: Can I register a new vessel under an existing fleet of vessels?

A14: Yes. To register (add) a new vessel(s) to an existing fleet of vessels, the following applies:

  1. the new vessel(s) must be the same vessel descriptor and sub-descriptor;
  2. the number of vessels must remain within the assigned range as shown on the “Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register)”.

Registration of Small Non-Pleasure Vessels with propulsion motors 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more.

First Time Registration
Renewal of Registration
Change of Ownership
FAQ's For Small Non-Pleasure Vessels

First Time Registration

To register your vessel you must provide:

  • A completed Application form
  • Proof of ownership of the vessel. One of the following documents must be provided. If you cannot produce any of the documents below showing that you own the vessel, please complete this Declaration form.
    1. Bill of Sale. It must show:
      • date of transaction,
      • names of the seller(s) and buyer(s),
      • signature(s) of the seller(s),
      • description of the vessel
      • If the vessel was owned by a foreigner, the notarized original bill of sale transferring ownership from the last foreign owner to you is required.
    2. Another document of title (i.e. receipt). It must show:
      • date of transaction,
      • names of the seller(s) and buyer(s),
      • signature(s) of the seller(s),
      • description of the vessel and
      • $0.00 balance or “Paid in Full” noted on the document
    3. Invoice along with a Declaration Form
    4. Builder’s Certificate
      • Canadian-built: If the vessel was built for you (the applicant) then you must provide the Builder’s Certificate.
      • Foreign-built: If the vessel was built for you (the applicant) then you must provide the Builder’s Certificate.
  • Foreign-registered: If the vessel was registered in a foreign country, you must provide proof that the vessel is no longer registered in another country with an original “Deletion Certificate”.
  • A Statement of Qualification to prove that you are eligible to be registered as an owner. If there are multiple owners, each owner must complete a separate Statement of Qualification form.
  • Tonnage Measurement
  • You must choose one of the following methods:
    1. Assigned Formal Tonnage (non-calculated tonnage)
      • Not more than 8.5m = gross tonnage of 4.99
      • More than 8.5m but not more than 10.5m = gross tonnage of 9.99
      • More than 10.5m but not more than 12m = gross tonnage of 14.99
    2. Calculated Tonnage Measurement:
      Have the vessel measured for tonnage by simplified method or by a professional Tonnage Measurer.
      1. For the simplified method complete one of the following forms:
      2. See this page to learn about Tonnage measurers
  • Payment of $50.00. If you are paying by credit card, include your credit card information on the Application Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General for Canada”.

Note: If you are registering a group of two (2) or more vessels each with a length of 8.5metres or less, are each less than (five) 5 gross tonnage; and are owned by the same person, your vessels qualify for a "group discount" and for a $50.00 flat fee. The same applies for Air Cushion Vehicles (ACV’s) of 1500 kg or less.

  • An Appointment of Authorized Representative form is required if:
    • there is more than one owner. It must be completed and signed by all of the owners appointing one of them as the vessel’s "Authorized Representative".
    • a foreign corporation is the owner. The form must be completed by the foreign corporation appointing a Canadian representative as the "Authorized Representative".

Mail completed documents to the Vessel Registration Office.

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay in 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.

Renewal of Registration

To renew your vessel registration you must provide:

  • A completed Application form.
  • Payment of $50.00. If you are paying by credit card, include your credit card information on the Application Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General For Canada”.
  • A Statement of Qualification to prove that you are eligible to be registered as an owner. If there are multiple owners, each owner must complete a separate Statement of Qualification form.

Mail completed documents to:

Vessel Registration
Operations & Environmental Programs
Marine Safety
Safety and Security
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay in 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.

Change of Ownership

To change ownership of your vessel you must provide:

  • A completed Application form.
  • Proof of ownership of the vessel. One of the following documents must be provided. If you cannot produce any of the documents below showing that you own the vessel, please complete this Declaration form.
    1. Bill of Sale. It must show:
      • date of transaction,
      • names of the seller(s) and buyer(s),
      • signature(s) of the seller(s),
      • description of the vessel.
    2. Another document of title (i.e. receipt). It must show:
      • date of transaction,
      • names of the seller(s) and buyer(s),
      • signature(s) of the seller(s),
      • description of the vessel and
      • $0.00 balance or “Paid in Full” noted on the document
    3. Invoice along with a Declaration Form
  • A Statement of Qualification to prove that you are eligible to be registered as an owner. If there are multiple owners, each owner must complete a separate Statement of Qualification form.
  • Payment of $50.00. If you are paying by credit card, include your credit card information on the Application Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General For Canada”.
  • An Appointment of Authorized Representative form is required if:
    • there is more than one owner. It must be completed and signed by all of the owners appointing one of them as the vessel’s "Authorized Representative".
    • a foreign corporation is the owner. The form must be completed by the foreign corporation appointing a Canadian representative as the "Authorized Representative".

Mail completed documents to:

Vessel Registration
Operations & Environmental Programs
Marine Safety
Safety and Security
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay in 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.

FAQ's For Small Non-Pleasure Vessels

This page provides answers to the most common questions we receive about the registration of small commercial vessels.

Registering a Small Non-Pleasure Vessel

Q1: What vessels are required to have a Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register)?

A1: Vessels that are not used solely for pleasure that are less than or equal to 15 tons gross tonnage are classified as "small commercial vessels" under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, and must be registered either in the Canadian Register of Vessels or the Small Vessel Register, except for current exemptions, refer to Interim Voluntary Registration

Q2:How do I know if I qualify to register a vessel in Canada?

A2: Under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001) a “qualified person” means:

  1. a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; or
  2. a corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province.

Q3: What is the registration system for small commercial vessels (Small Vessel Register)?

A3: The Small Commercial Vessel Registration Program is delivered by the Vessel Registration Office in the National Capital Region. Commercial vessels less than or equal to 15 tons gross tonnage must be registered in the Small Vessel Register except for current exemptions, refer to Interim Voluntary Registration. The Small Vessel Register does not permit registration of mortgages, liens or vessel names. Further information may be obtained by calling our toll-free line at 1-877-242-8770.

Q4: How do I know if I qualify for a "group discount"?

A4: If you are registering a group of two (2) or more vessels each with a length of 8.5metres or less, are each less than (five) 5 gross tonnage; and are owned by the same person, your vessels qualify for a “group discount” and for a $50.00 flat fee. The same applies for Air Cushion Vehicles (ACV’s) of 1500 kg or less.

A "group discount" does not apply to government vessels (federal, provincial or municipal).

A separate Application for Registry (Small Vessel Register) must be completed for every vessel and all applications must be submitted simultaneously in order that the vessels qualify for the “group discount”.

Q5: What forms and documentation are required to apply for a Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register)?

A5: You must complete the following forms:

Also required is the “Proof of Ownership” (refer to First Time Registration) transferring legal custody and control of the small vessel to the owner/applicant (not required for government owned vessels). To receive your Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register), the original application and supporting documentation, along with payment of the fee are to be forwarded to:

Vessel Registration
Operations & Environmental Programs
Marine Safety
Safety and Security
Transport Canada,
330 Sparks Street, 10th floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8.

Q6: For government-owned vessels, what forms are required to apply for a Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register)?

A6: You must complete the following forms:

If you are not choosing the Assigned Formal Tonnage one of the following forms must be completed:

Q7: What is the fee for a Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register)?

A7: The fee is $50.00 for the issuance or renewal of a Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register) or a $50.00 flat fee for a "group discount ", payable by cheque or money order to the Receiver General for Canada. Fees are also payable by Visa, Mastercard or AMEX. A Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register ) is valid for five (5) years from the date of issue.

Q8: How do I renew my Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register)?

A8: A Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register) is valid for five (5) years from the issue date. The Vessel Registration Office will notify the owner in writing 30 days prior to the expiry of the Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register). The notification will provide the owner with the necessary documents for the renewal of the registration. A fee of $50.00 is applicable for the renewal of registration.

Q9: What is the meaning of tonnage of a vessel?

A9: Tonnage is not about the weight of the vessel. It is a measurement of the vessel's internal volume. Tonnage refers to the overall volume of a vessel

Q10: How do I calculate the tonnage of my vessel to verify if it is under 15 gross tons?

A10: The tonnage of vessels may be determined in accordance with the Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations and TP 13430, either by using the Assigned Formal Tonnage, the Simplified Method or by a duly appointed Tonnage Measurer.

  • For vessels of not more than 12 metres in length, you can choose to use the “Assigned Formal Tonnage” (non-calculated tonnage). Assigned Formal Tonnage simply means linking a tonnage number to the length of the vessel. Should you require an accurate tonnage calculation, use Form 4A or 4B.
    • Not more than 8.5m = gross tonnage of 4.99
    • More than 8.5m but not more than 10.5m = gross tonnage of 9.99
    • More than 10.5m but not more than 12m = gross tonnage of 14.99
  • If the vessel is to be measured using the Simplified Method, this method applies for the following vessels:
    • Monohull vessels up to and including 15 metres tonnage measurement length (TML) - use Form 4A Simplified Method of Tonnage Measurement [PDF version].
    • "Monohull vessel" means a vessel having not more than a single tier of deckhouses and/or superstructures (including breaks that are also being regarded as one tier of superstructures) whose total combined length does not exceed 70% of TML to be measured.
    • Simple multihull vessels up to and including 15 metres tonnage measurement length (TML) - use Form 4B Tonnage Measurement of a Simple Multihull Vessel [PDF version].
    • "Simple multihull vessel" means a flat platform installed on two or more pontoons.

If the vessel is to be measured by a Tonnage Measurer, you can either contact the Registrar at the Vessel Registration Office in the National Capital Region through the North American toll-free telephone number: 1-877-242-8770 or refer to Tonnage Measurements.

Q11: Why is the ownership of a registered vessel divided into 64 indivisible shares?

A11: The property in a vessel is divided into 64 indivisible shares. The origin of this practice has not been definitely established; however, it is a well established practice dating from the British Merchant Shipping Act. This practice has continued in Canada. 64 shares is equivalent to 100% ownership.

Q12: What is a joint owner?

A12: For registration purposes, the property in a vessel is divided into 64 indivisible shares. Up to five people may register as joint owners of each of these 64 shares. Joint owners are considered as one unit, although all of the names of the joint owners are listed in the Canadian Register of Vessels and the Small Vessel Register.

You can sell a share only when all joint owners act together to sell it Bill of Sale.
Upon the death of a joint owner, the shares of the deceased are passed to the surviving joint owners. Such a change must be reported to the Registrar at the Vessel Registration Office or to the Registrar at your vessel's Port of Registry, with the following documents:

  • Death certificate;
  • Burial certificate or a presumption of death issued by a court or appropriate authority (e.g., RCMP);
  • Declaration of Transmission.

There is no fee for a change of ownership upon the death of a joint owner.

Q13: What is a suspended vessel? 

A13: A suspended vessel is a vessel which has been temporarily removed from active registry status. The registry of a vessel is suspended as a result of an owner/authorized representative's failure in keeping the registry current by not reporting changes. To reinstate the vessel to active status will depend on why the registry was suspended. Contact either the Registrar at your vessel’s Port of Registry or the Vessel Registration Office through the North American toll free number 1-877-242-8770.

Q14: What are the marking requirements for my Certificate of Registry (Small Commercial Register)? 

A14: Registered vessels must be marked with the official number of the vessel in block characters not less than 75 mm high and in a colour that contrasts with their background. The number is to be located:

  1. on each side of the bow of the vessel, or
  2. on a board permanently attached to the vessel as close to the bow as practicable, so that the number is clearly visible from each side of the bow.

Q15: How do I replace my lost or misplaced Certificate of Registry (Small Commercial Register)? 

A15: You must submit a letter providing details of the loss to Transport Canada, Vessel Registration, Marine Safety, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0N8 or by facsimile at 613-998-0637. There is no fee for a replacement Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register).

Q16: How do I comply and obtain my inspection certificates?

A16: In most cases, commercial vessels must be inspected by a Transport Canada Marine Safety inspector to ensure compliance with the Canada Shipping Act 2001 its other applicable regulations, including the Marine Personnel Regulations. To establish compliance and to obtain your inspection certificates, please contact your Regional Transport Canada Centre.

Transport Canada created the Small Vessel Compliance Program (Non-Pleasure Craft) (SVCP) for small non-pleasure vessel owners. This is an optional and easy-to-use tool to help make sure your small non-pleasure vessel meets its requirements under the CSA 2001 and its regulations. Vessels that are eligible to enroll in the SVCP must measure between 0 to 15 gross tonnage, carry between 0 to 12 passengers, but are not pleasure craft used solely for recreational purposes, fishing vessels engaged in commercial fishing activities, or human-powered vessels.

To learn how to enroll in the SVCP, please visit the SVCP website.

Vessel Numbering

Q1. 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)?

A1: 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 at www.boatingsafety.gc.ca, or call the Boating Safety Info Line at 1-800-267-6687.

Q2. Where do I obtain information on a specific licence number or official number (with a prefix and/or letter, e.g., 32E 00000, BC 00000 or C00000BC)?

A2: A vessel licence number (e.g., 32E 00000 or BC 00000) is a licensed pleasure craft licensed in a different system than the registered vessels on our website. To learn more about pleasure craft licensing, visit Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety at www.boatingsafety.gc.ca, or call the Boating Safety InfoLine at 1-800-267-6687.

A vessel with an official number (e.g., C00000BC) is a registered small commercial vessel in the Small Vessel Register. For more information on a registered vessel, please contact the Vessel Registration Office in the National Capital Region by calling the North American toll-free number 1-877-242-8770.

Air Cushion Vehicles

Q1. How do I obtain the Application form to register a commercial Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV)?

A1: Registration of Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) is done in the National Capital Region only. You will be required to complete an Application for Registry form [PDF version] or an Application for Registry (Small Vessel Register) form [PDF version]. Further information is available from the Vessel Registration office by calling the North American toll-free number 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: A weight determination has been established to assess whether an ACV should be registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels or the Small Vessel Register.

A commercial ACV equal to or less than 4,500 kg/4.5 metric tons All Up Weight (AUW) can be registered either in the Canadian Register of Vessels or the Small Vessel Register. A commercial ACV greater than 4,500 kg/4.5 metric tons AUW must be registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels.

For more information, please call the Vessel Registration Office though the North American toll-free number 1-877-242-8770.

Mortgages

Q1. Can I put a mortgage on my small commercial vessel registered in the Small Vessel Register?

A1: No, a mortgage is not permitted for vessels registered on the Small Vessel Register.

Names

Q1. Can I put a name on my small commercial vessel registered in the Small Vessel Register?

A1: While names can be displayed on small commercial vessels, their names are not recognized in the Small Vessel Register. The vessel is identified by it official number (e.g., C0000BC).

Pleasure Craft Licensing

Q1. Where do I get a Pleasure Craft Licence?

A1: Any pleasure craft powered by a motor over 10 hp (7.5 kW) must have a valid licence. To learn more about pleasure craft licensing, visit Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety at www.boatingsafety.gc.ca, or call the Boating Safety Info Line at 1-800-267-6687.

Registration of Government Owned Vessels with propulsion motors 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more

First Time Registration
Renewal of Registration
Change of Ownership

SSB No.: 04/2012: Important Changes to Registration Requirements for Government Vessels.

First Time Registration

To register a government owned vessel you must provide:

  • A completed Application form
  • Payment of $50.00 per vessel.
    • Federal Government:
      Payment must be processed via the Inter-Departmental Settlement (IS) process. The government department applying for registration must provide the following information: Organization Code, Department Code, and Reference Number
    • Provincial/Municipal Government:
      If you are paying by credit card, include your credit card information on the Application Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General for Canada”.
  • Tonnage Measurement: You must choose one of the following methods:
    1. Assigned Formal Tonnage (non-calculated tonnage).
      • Not more than 8.5m = gross tonnage of 4.99
      • More than 8.5 m but not  more  than 10.5m = gross tonnage of 9.99
      • More than 10.5m  but not more than 12m = gross tonnage of 14.99
    2. Calculated Tonnage Measurement
  • Have the vessel measured for tonnage by simplified method or by a professional Tonnage Measurer.
    1. For the simplified method complete one of the following forms:
    2. See this page to learn about Tonnage Measurers

Mail completed documents to:

Vessel Registration
Operations & Environmental Programs
Marine Safety
Safety and Security
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and will delay in 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.

Renewal of Registration

To renew the registration of government owned vessels you must provide:

  • A completed Application form
  • Payment of $50.00 per vessel
    • Federal Government:
      Payment must be processed via the Inter-Departmental Settlement (IS) process. The government department applying for registration must provide the following information: Organization Code, Department Code, and Reference Number
    • Provincial/Municipal Government:
      If you are paying by credit card, include your credit card information on the Renewal Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General for Canada”.

Mail completed documents to:

Vessel Registration
Operations & Environmental Programs
Marine Safety
Safety and Security
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8

Change of Ownership

To change ownership of a small government owned vessel you must provide:

  • A completed Application form.
  • Payment of $50.00 per vessel.
    • Federal Government:
      Payment must be processed via the Inter-Departmental Settlement (IS) process. The government department applying for registration must provide the following information: Organization Code, Department Code, and Reference Number
    • Provincial/Municipal Government:
      If you are paying by credit card, include your credit card information on the Application Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General For Canada”.

Mail completed documents to:

Vessel Registration
Operations & Environmental Programs
Marine Safety
Safety and Security
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8

Registration of Commercial River Rafts

To register, renew or change ownership of commercial river rafts you must provide:

  • A completed Application form
  • Payment of $50.00. If you are paying by credit card, include your credit card information on the Application Form. If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “Receiver General for Canada”. If you are registering two (2) or more river rafts with the same owner, you qualify for a $50.00 flat fee.
  • An Authorized Representative form is required if:
    • there is more than one owner. It must be completed and signed by all of the owners appointing one of them as the vessel’s "Authorized Representative".
    • a foreign corporation is the owner. The form must be completed by the foreign corporation appointing a Canadian representative as the "Authorized Representative".

If you are registering more than one river raft you may register them as a fleet. If you are registering a fleet of vessels you must provide:

  • A completed Application form
  • Payment of flat fee of $50.00 for the fleet of vessels.

Mail completed documents to:

Vessel Registration
Operations & Environmental Programs
Marine Safety
Safety and Security
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0N8

Please note incomplete forms will be returned identifying the missing information and may delay in 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.