Small vessel registration

Under Transport Canada regulations, all small non-pleasure vessels powered by an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more must be registered with Transport Canada’s Small Vessel RegisterVessel 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.

UVic steps for registering your vessel(s) commercially involve the following:

  1. Small Vessel Registration template - download and fill in blanks on page one.
  2. Four photos depicting bow, stern, port, and starboard sides of vessel, a minimum size of 12.70 cm x 8.89 cm.  
  3. Copy of Company Resolution to send along with registration package (contact OHSE for letter).
  4. Bill of sale (if there is none, a notarized Declaration of Bill of Sale form can be utilized in lieu.
  5. Director, OHSE signature on page 2 of application (send to OHSE for processing).
  6. $50 fee from your Department (last page of registration application).
  7. Department or persons responsible send completed registration package to Ottawa (address in registration application).
  8. Finally, keep a photocopy of the registration application package in a ziplock bag on the vessel while waiting for applications to process from Ottawa (4-6 weeks). This will show intention of compliance if stopped while on the water by RCMP or Transport Canada Enforcement Officers. Transport Canada will send application acknowledgement and certifications to OHSE which will then be forward to the Department or Person Responsible for record-keeping and any distribution.

Note - Form 3 in Vessel Application checklist is not required as it has already been submitted to Transport Canada on behalf of UVic.

Small commercial registrations are valid for 5 years. Departments are responsible for keeping track of their vessel registration cycles and renewals.  The cost for registering and renewal is $50. However, if you have more than one vessel under your care and control, the vessels can be registered as a Group Discount for a flat rate of $50.