As a captain, you have lots of responsibilities and one of them is to make sure that your boat is properly registered or licensed if necessary. Do you have a boat that has a motor that exceeds 10 horsepower? Then you should be looking into licensing your boat. Is your boat big enough to require a marine mortgage? Will you be travelling out of Canada on your boat? It’s time to think about registering your vessel. Registry and licensing have a few key differences to note that are important since the captain may choose either for their boat.

Licensing a Pleasure Craft

When you license your boat, you will be given a vehicle specific identification number that will be used to identify your boat in emergencies. Because it will be used to identify you, the number should be clearly displayed on the bow of your boat. The number must be printed in colours that contrast those of your bow, and they must be at least seven centimetres tall. Captains should also note that the physical license card must also be kept on the boat at all times – you could face a $250 fine if you’re caught boating without.

Licenses must be kept current with up-to-date information, meaning that if any relevant data on your license is changing, such as your name or address, you must update it. A vessel license will remain valid for ten years, after which time the captain is responsible for renewing it. There is only ONE circumstance in which a boater may be driving their boat without their license. If you have purchased your boat in the past 90 days, you may carry documentation with your name, address, and purchase date of your boat instead of your boats license.

Registering a Vessel

Captains have the option of registering their boat instead, which comes with associated fees and a few other key differences. If your boat requires a marine mortgage or will be travelling out of Canada, you do not have a choice – you MUST register your boat. Instead of a vessel specific registration number, captains pick out names and ports of registry for their boat, for example: Chasing Straits, Regina, SK. The name and port are to be displayed on the exterior of the boat and will be used to identify your craft in cases of emergency. Make sure your boat’s name is short and concise; emergency personnel will need to be able to effectively communicate the name in emergencies. On the interior of the boat will be an official number and the tonnage of the boat.

Does your boat meet any of these requirements? If it does, you should definitely be looking into registering or licensing your vessel. Any questions about performing this process in Saskatchewan should be directed at the Vessel Registration Office.

In addition to your vessels registry or license, Saskatchewan boaters are also required to carry proof of competency in the form of a Pleasure Craft Operator Card or boat license. Take the Transport Canada approved boating safety course and start exploring Saskatchewan today!

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