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  • What do I do if my Certificate of Registry is about to expire?


The Certificate of Registry has an expiry date of three years and owners of vessels with registration should expect to receive the new Certificate a month before the expiry date. Transport Canada’s database generates a new Certificate every three year and will automatically send it to the owners address on record.


There are no fees for this service and if you do not receive it within the time frame mentioned, our marine advisors suggest you check with Transport Canada agents to find out the status of your renewal. It is important that you always have a valid Certificate on board while navigating.


  • Do I need to advise Transport Canada of a change of address?


It is very important that at the time of your moving Transport Canada be advised of your new address. This can be done with an e-mail to their general address.


This will permit an update on your profile in their database and they will be able to send you the Certificate of Registry with the new expiry date by mail at your new address. You will need to include also in your e-mail the name, port, and official number on the Certificate of registry. Failure to advise Transport Canada of a change of address would result in them receiving the Certificate back by mail and suspension of the registration would eventually take place.


  • If my Certificate has been suspended or it needs to be replaced what is the procedure to follow?


If this is your case the only way to proceed would be to contact Transport Canada by e-mail at their general e-mail address stating that your registration has been suspended or lost and provide them with the name of the vessel, port and official number and they will send you the new one at the address they have on record. A fee of $50.00 will be applied for the new Certificate.


  • Under what circumstances can I request a closing of a Canadian registration?


The major reason for a closing of a Certificate of Registry or a cancellation of a Pleasure Craft License is if the vessel is being sold to a foreign buyer or if you wish to change the registration to permit or vice versa. Another reason would be if the vessel had been destroyed due to weather conditions or other circumstances and can no longer be used.


  • Can a transfer of ownership be issued by Transport Canada if the vessel has a registered lien on it?


If you are considering buying or selling a vessel with a mortgage registered on the said vessel then you must know that Transport Canada will under no circumstances transfer the ownership to the buyer until the lien has been discharged. The discharge of mortgage will need to be requested before the transfer of ownership. Once the discharge has been issued then Transport Canada will transfer the vessel to the new owner and issue the Certificate of Registry in his or her name.


  • Under what circumstances can a so called In-Bound (vessels with a Canadian registry but never navigated in Canada) vessel enter Canada?


The only time that this type of vessel can enter into Canada is when the vessel is in need of repairs and the owner would prefer that they be done in Canada. The owner will need at the time of boarder crossing a work sheet with a specific list of repairs from the Marina of his choice and an E29-B form filled with all pertinent information. Please note that at the time of exiting Canada once the repairs are completed the owner will need to present himself at the same boarder crossing where the entry was granted and he will need to have in his possession the form that was stamped by the customs agents at the time of entry. Failure to do so will have Tax implications for the owner of the said vessel. Please see our section on Taxes.


  • Can a vessel be registered in two countries at the same time?


In order to receive from the Canadian Government a Certificate of Registry for a vessel you will need to provide along with all other documents a Certificate of Deletion from the country that the vessel was previously registered in, if the vessel has an official number. If you are a Canadian seller and the buyer is foreign you will then have to request for the closing of the registry with Transport Canada and they will issue you a Certificate of Deletion.


If you are a Canadian seller and your vessel has a permit from the Pleasure Craft License Bureau and the buyer is a foreign resident then the buyer will need to ask for the cancellation of the Permit and provide all required documentation for the cancellation.


If you are a Canadian buyer and the vessel has a foreign registration you will need to register in Canada but will need to cancel the registration or Title from the country where the vessel is registered.


It is then strongly suggested to make sure that the vessel at the time of ownership is registered or has a permit only in one country.


  • Can a Canadian obtain the registration of his or her vessel in the United States or in another country?


Every country has its own maritime laws and regulations. In most foreign countries a registration is usually issued to a citizen of that country. In some states of the USA a Canadian citizen can apply for a state Title and once the Title is issued in the new owners name they will be requested by that state to pay for the taxes. Official numbers or what the USCG refers to as a US Documentation will not be issued to anyone who is not a US citizen, for USA citizens that are requesting a registration here in Canada the same principals apply.


Caution needs to be taken when applying for a United State Title, the State where the vessel owner applies, will have the applicant pay the local State Taxes and the percentage will vary from State to State.