Pleasure Craft Licensing

  • A pleasure craft licence is a document containing a unique identification number that must be displayed above the waterline on both sides of the bow, in block letters at least 7.5 centimeters and, in contrast with the colour of the bow.
  • Licensing of a pleasure craft powered by an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts (kW)) or more is a requirement under the Small Vessel Regulations pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
  • Pleasure craft licence transactions are processed at Transport Canada’s licensing centre.
  • Information contained in the Pleasure Craft Licensing Database allows enforcement and search and rescue agencies to access important information in an emergency.

Service standards:

Requests submitted through the Pleasure Craft Electronic Licensing System (PCELS):

Transport Canada will issue the following when it receives a request for the selected transaction, along with the required supporting documentation. (Note, there is no mailing time unless the applicant has requested his PCL be returned by post, the mailing time has not been included in these service standards.

  • New Pleasure Craft Licence
    Acknowledgment (valid for 90 days from the initial issue date) will be returned to the applicant immediately. The permanent Pleasure Craft Licence will be issued within 5 working days, plus delivery time.
  • Transfer of a Pleasure Craft Licence
    Acknowledgment (valid for 90 days from the initial issue date) will be returned to the applicant immediately. The permanent Pleasure Craft Licence will be issued within 5 working days plus delivery time.
  • Update of Pleasure Craft Licence Information
    Confirmation e-mail advising applicant that the request has been received will be sent immediately. The updated Pleasure Craft Licence will be issued within 5 working days plus delivery time.
  • Duplicate Pleasure Craft Licence
    Confirmation e-mail advising applicant that the request has been received will be sent immediately. The updated Pleasure Craft Licence will be issued within 5 working days plus delivery time.
  • Renew of a Pleasure Craft Licence (to be available in a future release)
    Acknowledgment (valid for 90 days from the initial issue date) will be returned to the applicant immediately. The permanent Pleasure Craft Licence will be issued within 5 working days plus delivery time.

Requests received by post:

Transport Canada will issue the following when it receives a completed Pleasure Craft Application Form along with the required supporting documents (Please note that mailing time is not included in these service standards:

  • New Pleasure Craft Licence
    Within 5 working days plus mailing time
  • Transfer of a Pleasure Craft Licence
    Within 5 working days plus mailing time
  • Update of Pleasure Craft Licence Information
    Within 5 working days plus mailing time
  • Duplicate Pleasure Craft Licence
    Within 5 working days plus mailing time
  • Renewal of a Pleasure Craft Licence
    Within 5 working days plus mailing time
  • Cancellation of a Pleasure Craft Licence
    Within 5 working days plus mailing time

Performance target: The target for achieving this standard is set at 80%.

Performance results: Annual service performance information for the 2016-2017 fiscal year will be published in June 2017.

Apply through the Pleasure Craft Electronic Licensing System (PCELS):

To submit a transaction for a new or previously unlicensed pleasure craft, complete the requested information at https://www.pcl-pep.snbservices.ca/1001/pubweb/default.aspx?lang=en-CA

You may also submit your request online (various document specifications will be noted depending on the type of transaction selected), through the PCELS to:

  • request a new pleasure craft licence;
  • transfer a pleasure craft licence;
  • update information on your pleasure craft licence;
  • request a duplicate of your pleasure craft icence;
  • renew your pleasure craft licence. (to be available in a future release).

YOU CANNOT CANCEL A PLEASURE CRAFT LICENCE THROUGH THE PCELS. ALL REQUESTS FOR THE CANCELLATION OF A PCL ARE TO BE SENT BY POST TO THE PLEASURE CRAFT LICENSING CENTRE.

Examples of supporting documentation that may be required:

Apply by post:

To license a new or previously unlicensed pleasure craft submit:

You can use the application form to:

  • apply for a new pleasure craft licence;
  • transfer a pleasure craft licence;
  • update information on your pleasure craft licence;
  • get a duplicate or your pleasure craft licence;
  • renew your pleasure craft licence; or
  • cancel a licence.

Specific instructions for each use are on the application form.

Service feedback:

Comments, suggestions and concerns may be shared at the following address:

Transport Canada, Marine Safety and Security
Office of Boating Safety
330 Sparks Street, 11th Floor, Tower C
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N5

or contact:

Boating Safety Infoline: 1-800-267-6687

E-mail: obs-bsn@tc.gc.ca

For more information:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

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