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Ontario Boat Registration: How to register your boat


One of the most common questions we are asked is how to  get an Ontario boat registration.  There’s a lot of confusion around this topic so here’s a quick breakdown of what you have to do to get an Ontario boat registration.


First, when do you need to get an Ontario boat registration?  Any pleasurecraft over 10hp must have an Ontario boat registration through Transport Canada. This includes personal watercraft.  It used to be a lengthy process but with the new Pleasurecraft Electronic Licensing System, getting your Ontario boat registration is quick and easy.


When you submit an online application for your Ontario boat registration you will be asked to upload four pieces of supporting documentation.


  1. Proof of Ownership bill of sale, statutory declaration, will and bequest, separation or divorce agreement, court judgement or signed agreement of transfer of ownership (sale/purchase agreement)
  2. Valid piece of government issued id
  3. Current full side photo of vessel – don’t take a picture of your boat with other boats and make sure the photo is clear ie. no shadows etc.
  4. 3rd party authorization letter – this only applies if someone is applying for the boat license on your behalf.

Once you’ve submitted the application for your Ontario boat registration and all of the supporting documents, you will receive via email an acknowledgment number that is the same as the permanent number you will receive either in the mail or email as you choose.  The acknowledgment number must be displayed on the side of your boat because if you are going to use your boat immediately, it confirms your Ontario boat registration.  It’s valid for 90 days.


A few quick things to remember about your Ontario boat registration.  Treat it like you would the plates on your car.  If you change your name or address, you must update your Ontario boat registration.  An Ontario boat registration is valid for 10 years.  Note also that an Ontario boat registration does not serve as proof of ownership so you should still have handy your bill of sale or other proof.  Your will also need to get your Ontario boat insurance separately. This is an important point to remember when it comes to your boat insurance.  If there is a claim you will be asked to provide proof you own the boat and your Ontario boat registration isn’t enough so keep that bill of sale!


Transport Canada, Office of Boating Safety has a fantastic Question & Answer section.  Follow the link below for more information.


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Northstar Marine Insurance Inc.
270-92 Caplan Ave, Barrie, ON, L4N 9J2
Phone 1-866-717-9295, Fax 1-866-354-7337