Small Vessel Register (Commercial)

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, Marine Safety & Security
Tower C, Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street 10th floor 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.

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.

Small Vessel Register

In Canada, any small non-pleasure vessel powered by an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more, or commercial river raft must be registered with Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Register (Commercial) 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.

All non-pleasure vessels over 15 gross tons must be registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels

Registration is a title system for vessel ownership. It is similar to land title registry.  

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.

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.

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 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.

Registration, Renewal and Change of Ownership:

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

First Time Registration

The fee for first registration in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00.

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

To register a vessel you must provide:

  • A completed Application 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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
  • 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:
    1. 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
    2. Calculated Tonnage Measurement

Note: If you are registering a group of two (2) or more vessels each with a length of 8.5metres or less, and each less than (five) 5 gross tonnage; and they 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 (ACVs) of 1500 kg or less.

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.

Renewal of Registration

The fee for renewal in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00.

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

To renew your vessel registration you must provide:

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.

Change of Ownership

The fee for a change of ownership in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00.

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

To change ownership of your vessel you must provide:

  • A completed Application 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

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.

Transfer on Death of a Joint Owner

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

You must provide:

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

Transfer on Death of an Owner

The fee for transfer on death in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00.

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

You must provide:

  • 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 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

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

First Time Registration

The fee for first registration and re-registration of a Government Vessel in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00.

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

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

To register a government owned vessel you must provide:

  • A completed Application form
  • 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
    • Have the vessel measured for tonnage by simplified method or by a professional Tonnage Measurer.

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.

Renewal of Registration

The fee for renewal of a Government Vessel in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00.

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

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

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

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.

Change of Ownership

The fee for change of ownership of a Government Vessel in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00.

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

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

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

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.

Registration of Commercial River Rafts

The fee for first registration and re-registration in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00. If you are registering a group of two (2) or more vessels that are owned by the same person, your vessels qualify for a “group discount” and for a $50.00 flat fee.

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

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

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.

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:

  • Official number as shown on your Certificate of Registry.
  • Owner's name
  • New address

General FAQs

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

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. How can I send my credit card payments?

A2. 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”.

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 that 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 (ACVs) 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: Please see Registration of Small Non-Pleasure Vessels with propulsion motors 10 horsepower (7.5kW) or more for forms and procedures.

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

A6: Please see Registration of a Government Owned vessel with propulsion motors 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more for forms and procedures.

 
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 using the Small Vessel Registration Payment Form. 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 90 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. Is the information in the Canadian Register of Vessels confidential? Why is my personal information (e.g. address) on the Vessel Registration Query System

A9. In Canada registration is basically a title system for the ownership of vessels. It is similar in nature to title systems applicable to land registry. Anyone wishing to obtain information on registered vessels including the ownership is permitted to receive this information. Please note that personal information such as telephone numbers, etc. is not available to the public. The Vessel Registration Query System contains information taken from the Register and is a tool for the public to view information on Canadian Registered Vessels. You will find this information under Section 76 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

 
Q10: What is vessel tonnage?

A10: 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.

 
Q11: How do I calculate the tonnage of my vessel to verify if it is under 15 gross tons?

A11: 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.
    • 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
  • 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.
  • Have the vessel measured for tonnage by simplified method or by a professional Tonnage Measurer.
 
Q12: Why is the ownership of a registered vessel divided into 64 indivisible shares?

A12: 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 time of the British Merchant Shipping Act. This practice has continued in Canada. 64 shares is equivalent to 100% ownership.

 
Q13: What is a joint owner?

A13: 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.

Upon the death of a joint owner, the shares of the deceased are passed to the surviving joint owners. Please see Transfer on Death of Joint Owner for forms and procedure.

 
Q14. What happens to the vessel when one joint owner dies?

A14.  Please see Transfer on Death of a Joint Owner for the forms and process.

 
Q15. How do I report a change of ownership?

A15. Please see Change of Ownership for the forms and process.

 
Q16. How do I report a change of address?

A16. Please see Change of Address for the process.

 
Q17. What can I do if I have lost or misplaced my Certificate of Registry?

A17. Request a replacement in writing to the Vessel Registration Office including the Official Number.

 
Q18. What is a bareboat chartered vessel?

A18. “Bareboat 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.

 
Q19: What is a suspended vessel?

A19: 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. Reinstating the vessel to active status will depend on why the registry was suspended. Contact the Vessel Registration Office for more information.

 
Q20: What are the marking requirements for my Certificate of Registry (Small Commercial Register)?

A20: 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.
 
Q21: How do I replace my lost or misplaced Certificate of Registry (Small Commercial Register)?

A21: You must submit a written request in writing providing details of the loss to the Vessel Registration Office. There is no fee for a replacement Certificate of Registry (Small Vessel Register).

 
Q22: How do I comply and obtain my inspection certificates?

A22: In most cases, commercial vessels must be inspected by a Transport Canada Marine Safety inspector to ensure compliance with the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and 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 enrol 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 enrol 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 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.

Registration of Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) is done in the National Capital Region only. You will be required to complete an form or an form. Both forms are available from any across Canada, or online by selecting or from. Further information is available from 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 tons 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 tons AUW in the Canadian Register of Vessels.

To learn more, please call the Vessel Registration office toll-free at 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 in the Small Vessel Register.

Names

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

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 its 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.

You can also visit the Pleasure Craft Licences: Questions and Answers page for more information on licensing your pleasure craft.

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 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.

The fee for first registration in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00.

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

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:

Note: 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 fee of $50.00 for the fleet of vessels.

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.

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.

The fee to register, renew or change the address of a Government Vessel in the Small Commercial Vessel Register is $50.00.

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

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

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:

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.

FAQs Interim Voluntary Registration

FAQs Interim Voluntary 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. How can I send my credit card payments?

A2. You can submit credit card payments by secure fax or mail tothe 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”.

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: 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).

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 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.

 
Q4. Can I still register my vessel even if I am not required to do so?

A4: 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.

 
Q5. Is it safe if I choose not to register my vessel?

A5: 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.

 
Q6. How long is the registration valid for?

A6: A Certificate of Registry is valid for a period of five years.

The Office of Vessel Registration will notify the owner in writing 90 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.

 
Q7. What are the benefits of registering my vessel?

A7: 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.
 
Q8. What is the Canadian Register of Vessels used for?

A8: 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.

 
Q9. What are the requirements for registration?

A9: To register, you must be a:

  • Canadian citizen;
  • permanent resident; or
  • corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province.
 
Q10. What are the requirements to register a “fleet” of vessels?

A10: 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.
 
Q11. Should I wish to register more than one vessel, which documents do I have to submit?

A11: Please see 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) for forms and procedures.  

 
Q12. If I have a fleet of vessels, how is the official number assigned to the fleet?

A12: 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).

 
Q13. Can I register a new vessel under an existing fleet of vessels?

A13: 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)”.