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Old 05-03-2017, 11:19   #1
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Registration vs License (CND)

Does it matter? Or perhaps I should ask, how does it matter?

This question occurred to me while chatting in the boat naming thread, but instead of further hijacking I though Iíd pose it here.

Is there a practical or necessary difference for recreational boat owners between the two in Canada. And does it make a difference when travelling internationally?

Both are federal programs. Licensing is free and perpetual. Registering is a small fee, but must be renewed. Licensing requires the posting of an ugly number, but I donít think it precludes name and home port as well. Registration only requires name and port.

Whatís the practical difference for us non-commercial cruisers?
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:26   #2
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

Throughout the US and Bahamas arriving in a Canadian boat whether licensed or registered poses no problems however if travelling further afield proffering a "license" will likely cause problems as the customs people are not used to seeing them.

Even tho' your Canadian Register Certificate paperwork specifically states "A Certificate of Register is not a document of title", they are accepted as proof of ownership in foreign ports. A license is not proof of ownership and such proof is what most Customs people want to see.
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Old 05-03-2017, 13:46   #3
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

This link provides most of the info re the differences between registering and licensing in Canada. If memory serves me well, licensed boats do not need a unique name, registered ones do. Did this originally 11 years ago when we bought our boat - and discovered that Prime Time was a well-used boat name.

Canadian Register of Vessels - Transport Canada
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Old 05-03-2017, 13:56   #4
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

I have a little more info on my website ... Licensed or Registered
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Old 05-03-2017, 14:00   #5
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Does it matter? Or perhaps I should ask, how does it matter?

This question occurred to me while chatting in the boat naming thread, but instead of further hijacking I though I’d pose it here.

Is there a practical or necessary difference for recreational boat owners between the two in Canada. And does it make a difference when travelling internationally?

Both are federal programs. Licensing is free and perpetual. Registering is a small fee, but must be renewed. Licensing requires the posting of an ugly number, but I don’t think it precludes name and home port as well. Registration only requires name and port.

What’s the practical difference for us non-commercial cruisers?
As I understand it, the Canadian system of registration is the method Canada uses to meet it's obligations as a member of the IMO. One of the requirements is that international seafaring vessels have a unique identification and traceability of legal ownership.

See more here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMO_number

I dunno if Canadians are legally required to have this when voyaging internationally in small recreational vessels or not but some other member states do require it (like Aus and (I believe) NZ etc).

Shouldn't be hard to find out from your local gummit website
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Old 05-03-2017, 14:06   #6
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

Here it is from the GV website:

Canadian Register of Vessels - Transport Canada


Travelling Abroad
For owners of non-registered vessels travelling abroad:

While not required by law, pleasure craft owners may choose to register their vessels in the Canadian Register of Vessels, as certain countries have different requirements for vessels docked at their ports.

For owners of registered vessels travelling abroad:

If you plan to travel abroad, please ensure your Certificate of Registry is valid or will not expire during your travels. Contact the Vessel Registration Office if you need to renew your certificate early.
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Old 05-03-2017, 14:17   #7
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

But it appears that "traveling abroad" doesn't include the US; I was assuming it did. So if I intend to stick to the Great Lakes I could license the boat, call it whatever I want, and not worry about it. Right?
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Old 05-03-2017, 14:56   #8
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

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Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
But it appears that "traveling abroad" doesn't include the US; I was assuming it did. So if I intend to stick to the Great Lakes I could license the boat, call it whatever I want, and not worry about it. Right?
I would say that is correct; at least thatís what Iíve done for the past 12+ years with two boats here on the Great Lakes. Iíve been meaning to register our boat, but itís kinda a PITA to do, and licensing is free, so it hasnít happened yet.

BTW, does anyone know (BP?) if there is an online searchable database for Licensed CND boats as there is for Registered? I canít find one.
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Old 05-03-2017, 15:02   #9
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

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Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
But it appears that "traveling abroad" doesn't include the US; I was assuming it did. So if I intend to stick to the Great Lakes I could license the boat, call it whatever I want, and not worry about it. Right?
Yes, right.
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Old 05-03-2017, 15:06   #10
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I would say that is correct; at least that’s what I’ve done for the past 12+ years with two boats here on the Great Lakes. I’ve been meaning to register our boat, but it’s kinda a PITA to do, and licensing is free, so it hasn’t happened yet.

BTW, does anyone know (BP?) if there is an online searchable database for Licensed CND boats as there is for Registered? I can’t find one.
License databases are available only to police and SAR. Until 2006 licenses were handled by municipal land registry offices and all records were on paper. When the filing cabinet was full the paper was sent to storage never to be heard from again. Many licensed boats also changed hands multiple times without ever being recorded so records before 2006 were of little help to police or SAR. With the new (databased) system implemented in 2006 the data is more reliable but still many of these boats change hands without TC's knowledge.
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Old 05-03-2017, 15:08   #11
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

Yep, what I found on the TC website is:

"A pleasure craft licence is not a title document, and does not establish ownership of a pleasure craft. Also, pleasure craft licensing information is personal information protected under the Privacy Act. Anyone wishing to access the information can apply through access-to-information and privacy legislation with Transport Canada."
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Old 05-03-2017, 22:04   #12
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

If are traveling internationally (not really including the US in this), probably worth registering. It's kinda pain in the arse, as you need to be able to prove ownership (in my case I had to trace the previous owners and then get the US Coast Guard to send me a form saying it had been struck from the US registry as it used to be a US boat)

On the plus side, you get to ditch those ugly numbers off the bow and put the boat name instead. And once it's done, it's done.

Also - you are not actually allowed to fly a Canadian flag unless you are registered! One look at all the licensed boats with Canadian flags will tell you this is in no way enforced, but it's an interesting tidbit.
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Old 05-03-2017, 22:13   #13
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
Also - you are not actually allowed to fly a Canadian flag unless you are registered! One look at all the licensed boats with Canadian flags will tell you this is in no way enforced, but it's an interesting tidbit.
I've heard this before but have never been able to find any legislation or TC regulation covering it. Do you have a reference ?
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Old 05-03-2017, 23:41   #14
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

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I've heard this before but have never been able to find any legislation or TC regulation covering it. Do you have a reference ?
ya know what? I just went looking for it and couldn't find it either!

The only thing I could find was on third party sites such as this one

https://aceboater.com/en/registration-boat

but I can't find anything on the official pages about it - I wonder if it's some misinformation that's been passed down as gospel for ages!

edit: scratch that, found this here http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety...cence-3211.htm

Quote:
Registering your pleasure craft

The Canadian Register of Vessels is a title system that keeps track of the owners of vessels. It contains information on each vessel such as ownership and vessel characteristics, e.g. tonnage, construction material and type. When you register, you receive an official number for your vessel, as well as a unique name. It also provides certain benefits, such as the right to fly the Canadian flag.
So yeah. It's not really clear and I'm now leaning towards it's completely fine either way.

Oh - another difference with registering is you have to use a set list of home ports, which can be found on the TC website. Licensing, you can put whatever port you want on there.
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Old 06-03-2017, 00:39   #15
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Re: Registration vs License (CND)

If planning on taking the boat beyond the US internationally, I'd recommend just biting the bullet and going the registration route. You know it's accepted globally without any issues. Licensing may always carry a question mark with it, and possibly be more subject to future changes in other countries clearance requirements even if they accept it now.

I've always heard that officially, the French islands in the Caribbean don't accept state registrations. This is referenced in a number of the guide books we've got. Before hundreds reply though that they've never had an issue with their state registration, I'd suggest that even if it is still a restriction I'd certainly guess it's not being enforced given how lax the check-in process is in those islands. With the average clearance into Martinique, Les Saintes, Guadleoupe, etc being at a cafe or marina office via self-serve computer, and a stamp from someone without ever glancing at a passport or ships papers I just can't imagine it being an issue.

Given their love of bureaucracy, I'd suggest Columbia, Panama, GalŠpagos, Tonga, Fiji and Australia would all be worth checking out prior to heading off to one of them with a license vs full registration. They may accept it, but it would be a pain to get there and find they don't.

Frankly, formus, registering the boat ranked pretty low on the PIA Meter compared to many other items on the To-Do list before we cut the docklines. Even underway, getting a new registration certificate (free) from Transport Canada every 3 years was less troublesome than the annual payment to Industry Canada and then getting the new Radio License.... ;-)
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