June 20, 2017

VesselDuring our Recreational Vessel Checks (RVCCs) we often get asked when will those who have had a Pleasure Craft License for several years in their name be asked to renew under the new 10 year Pleasure Craft License renewal program.

Here is the answer that Joe Gatfield, Past Chief Commander, recently received from Transport Canada:

“If you were licensed under the old system prior to 2011, you will not have an expiry date on your Pleasure Craft License document. This license will never expire. The only time you will have to "update" it is if you've had a change of address, name, changes to the vessel etc. In that case the Pleasure Craft License must be updated. Once the license is updated, you will have to renew every 10 years. If there never is a need to update the license because there are no changes to any of the above mentioned factors, then the license remains without an expiry for as long as you own the boat. Once the boat is sold, the new owner transferring the Pleasure Craft License, will come under the 10 year system.”

How do you get a Pleasure Craft License for your boat?

First let’s start by defining a Pleasure Craft License. All too often the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) is referred to as a boating license. It is not. It is a certificate much like a school diploma. As such, it identifies a level of competency, is good for life and cannot be taken away.

On the other hand, a Pleasure Craft License is a paper license similar to your vehicle registration form and it is represented by the 7.5 cm (3 in) letters and numbers that should be found on each side of the bow of your vessel. A copy of the paper license must be carried on board your boat at all times.

Application for Pleasure Craft License

There are two ways to apply for a Pleasure Craft License. You can apply by regular mail or you can now apply online.

To obtain, transfer or change information on a Pleasure Craft License go to the Transport Canada web site www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marine-menu.htm. Search Pleasure Craft License and that will take you right to the section you are looking for. All of the information, forms and how to use the mail in or on-line process is there and easy to follow. For French just click Francais in the upper right hand corner.

Use the application process and form to:
• apply for a new license;
• transfer an existing license (when you buy a used boat, it is your responsibility to transfer the Pleasure Craft License);
• update your license information:
• obtain a duplicate license: or
• cancel a license.

Why do I need a Pleasure Craft License?
A valid pleasure craft license helps law enforcement and search and rescue workers identify pleasure craft in emergency situations. Bylaw, any pleasure craft, including personal watercraft, that is powered by one or more motors adding up to 10 hp (7.5 kW) or more must have a valid license. You must display the license number on both sides of the bow of your boat in block characters that are at least 7.5 centimeters (3 inches) high, in a colour that contrasts with the colour of the bow.

Currently there is no charge for a pleasure craft license.

Related Articles



Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau saw an opportunity to add a little thrill to any cruising adventure, so they took the hull of the First 53 racer (introduced just last year), and with a few fashionable changes, created the Oceanis Yacht 54, the new entry-level of Beneteau’s swanky Oceanis Yacht line. The result is a performance cruiser that sails like a witch and looks like a grande dame.


Roberto Biscontini is the naval architect and Lorenzo Argento created the details of the exterior and interior design. 

Read More

Riverest MarinaThe new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming francophone village in Eastern Ontario, this joined marina and restaurant venue is the ambitious initiative of long-time entrepreneur André Chabot and biologist Alexandra Quester, both residents of L’Orignal.

The purchase of the L’Orignal Marina was made official in November 2020. The new year was barely underway when all 50 available slips were already reserved. No wonder the addition of member and visitor slips is already planned for the 2022 season – the 2021 count is up to 62 power and sail already. At the moment, the Riverest Marina offers boaters a stop where they can launch their boat...

Read More

Galvanic CorrosionIt’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s slowly deteriorating under you. Part of this is the nature of the marine environment: Sun, moisture, waves, wind, movement and vibration all contribute to components breaking down.

But there are other factors that are much more concerning and act at a significantly faster rate that the environment can take credit for. One of these is commonly spoken of, but not terribly well understood: Corrosion. As boaters, we’re concerned with two main types of corrosion: Galvanic and Stray-Current. This edition will focus on galvanic corrosion – in two weeks, stay tuned for info on stray-current.

Read More



Mia and Caleb's EngagementOn July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor Yacht in Oromocto NB. (That piece was also expanded in CY magazine later in the year.)

One of our Canadian Yachting contributors, Denise Miller, had shared the article on my social media and a young man reached out and asked if she could connect him with the owners of the boat, Dave and Barb. Denise leapt into action and Dave and Barb were thrilled. They concocted a plan that the young lady, Mia, thought she was coming to model for a sales brochure for Dave to do charter tours.

Read More