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Modernizing pleasure craft licensing

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Transport Canada develops and maintains the regulations, standards, policies and guidelines for licensing a pleasure craft as per the requirements under the Small Vessel Regulations.

A pleasure craft licence is a document issued by Transport Canada which contains a unique licence number used to trace a vessel to its owner. This number allows police and search and rescue personnel to access important information in an emergency. It also supports accountability and compliance with safety and environmental regulations.

The department needs to amend the Small Vessel Regulations to improve data quality and the way we deliver services to pleasure craft licence holders. We want your input on the changes we’d like to make to the pleasure craft licensing requirements.

Proposed Changes

We’d like to make changes to the pleasure craft licensing process, including:

  • Bringing grandfathered pleasure craft licences (no expiry) into a five-year validity period
  • Reducing the ten year validity period for licences to five years. Upon applying for a new, renewal, or updated licences, the validity period will be reduced from 10 years to 5 years.
  • Expanding the application of the Small Vessel Regulations to include:
    • all pleasure craft equipped with motors of 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) or more, including personal watercraft, which are principally maintained or operated in Canada; and
    • all pleasure craft (including all power-driven and sail-alone vessels) above 6 metres in length, with the exception of human-powered (e.g. kayak, canoe, dragon boats).
  • Reducing the timeframe for owners to notify of a name or address change from 90 days to 30 days, and specify 30 days for the buyer to notify of a sale or transfer of a vessel.
  • Allowing for the easier cancellation of pleasure craft licences. This gives Transport Canada the ability to cancel a licence if:
    • the holder of a lifetime PCL fails to apply;
    • a PCL holder fails to renew a PCL; or
    • a PCL holder wishes to remove their pleasure craft from service.

To learn more read section 8 of the pleasure craft licensing fee proposal.

Introducing a Service Fee

We issue over 100,000 pleasure craft licences every year. Until now, these services have been paid for with tax-payers’ dollars, and provided to pleasure craft licence holders for free. By introducing the service fee, the program will be paid for by the people that benefit from it.

We’d like to create:

  • A $15 fee to process an application to obtain a new PCL or to renew, transfer, or duplicate a PCL
  • A service standard that explains the service levels that the public can expect from us under normal circumstances

Read Transport Canada’s pleasure craft licensing fee proposal.

We want to hear from you:

  1. Read the pleasure craft licensing fee proposal to learn more about the changes we’d like to make.
  2. Choose “Register” at the top of the page, and join the discussion under the “Have Your Say” tab.
  3. You can also submit your comments in a Word or PDF document through the “Submissions” tab. You can upload more than one document.

Transport Canada develops and maintains the regulations, standards, policies and guidelines for licensing a pleasure craft as per the requirements under the Small Vessel Regulations.

A pleasure craft licence is a document issued by Transport Canada which contains a unique licence number used to trace a vessel to its owner. This number allows police and search and rescue personnel to access important information in an emergency. It also supports accountability and compliance with safety and environmental regulations.

The department needs to amend the Small Vessel Regulations to improve data quality and the way we deliver services to pleasure craft licence holders. We want your input on the changes we’d like to make to the pleasure craft licensing requirements.

Proposed Changes

We’d like to make changes to the pleasure craft licensing process, including:

  • Bringing grandfathered pleasure craft licences (no expiry) into a five-year validity period
  • Reducing the ten year validity period for licences to five years. Upon applying for a new, renewal, or updated licences, the validity period will be reduced from 10 years to 5 years.
  • Expanding the application of the Small Vessel Regulations to include:
    • all pleasure craft equipped with motors of 10 horsepower (7.5 kilowatts) or more, including personal watercraft, which are principally maintained or operated in Canada; and
    • all pleasure craft (including all power-driven and sail-alone vessels) above 6 metres in length, with the exception of human-powered (e.g. kayak, canoe, dragon boats).
  • Reducing the timeframe for owners to notify of a name or address change from 90 days to 30 days, and specify 30 days for the buyer to notify of a sale or transfer of a vessel.
  • Allowing for the easier cancellation of pleasure craft licences. This gives Transport Canada the ability to cancel a licence if:
    • the holder of a lifetime PCL fails to apply;
    • a PCL holder fails to renew a PCL; or
    • a PCL holder wishes to remove their pleasure craft from service.

To learn more read section 8 of the pleasure craft licensing fee proposal.

Introducing a Service Fee

We issue over 100,000 pleasure craft licences every year. Until now, these services have been paid for with tax-payers’ dollars, and provided to pleasure craft licence holders for free. By introducing the service fee, the program will be paid for by the people that benefit from it.

We’d like to create:

  • A $15 fee to process an application to obtain a new PCL or to renew, transfer, or duplicate a PCL
  • A service standard that explains the service levels that the public can expect from us under normal circumstances

Read Transport Canada’s pleasure craft licensing fee proposal.

We want to hear from you:

  1. Read the pleasure craft licensing fee proposal to learn more about the changes we’d like to make.
  2. Choose “Register” at the top of the page, and join the discussion under the “Have Your Say” tab.
  3. You can also submit your comments in a Word or PDF document through the “Submissions” tab. You can upload more than one document.
Discussions: All (3) Open (3)