First Time Registration


This register applies to vessels of all types and sizes including pleasure and commercial. This type of registration is required for:

Vessels more than 15 gross tonnes used for commercial purposes, including government-owned vessels (if unsure of tonnage, check this explanation of tonnage measurements)


Vessels that require marine mortgages


If you are planning to travel outside of Canada for extended periods of time


You may also choose to register your pleasure craft in the Canadian Register of Vessels if you wish to have an approved name and port of registry for your vessel or show proof of ownership.


If you own a non-pleasure vessel powered by an engine of 10hp (7.5kw) or more, or commercial river rafts in Canada, you must register them with Transport Canada’s Canadian Register of Vessels or the Small Vessel Register (Commercial).


Vessels under construction: A vessel that is about to be built or that is under construction in Canada may be temporarily recorded in the Register as a vessel being built in Canada.

While not required by law, pleasure craft owners may choose to register their vessels.


The Canadian Register of Vessels is the official register of all registered or listed (bare-boat charter) vessels, vessels under construction. It contains information on each vessel, such as ownership and mortgage details; and vessel characteristics such as tonnage, construction material and type.

Registration is a title system for vessel ownership. It is similar to land title registry. Registration allows for name approval and mortgage registration except in the case of a vessel registered in the Small Vessel Register.




First Time Registration Application: First Time Registration is for vessels that have never been registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels. If you have recently purchased a vessel that has already been registered, please proceed to the Transfer of Ownership Form to complete your Registry Application


Registry Transcript Request: Transport Canada Vessel Transcripts provide complete vessel lien information, along with all active and satisfied vessel mortgages and a complete chain of ownership for a vessel established in a Registered vessel’s history


Transfer of Ownership Application: Use this form if you are transferring ownership or shares of ownership of a vessel in the Canadian Register of Vessels. This includes transfers of ownership due to death or bankruptcy of an owner or joint owner.


Replacement Certificate: Use this form if your Certificate of Registry has been lost, mutilated or wrongfully withheld. A valid Certificate of Registry must be on board the vessel at all times


Change of Vessel Name and/or Port of Registry: Use this form to apply for a different name or Port of Registry than what is currently on the Canadian Register of Vessels. NOTE: When a vessel is either suspended or closed the name is not available until the Registry is officially closed.


Provisional Certificate of Registry: This form should be submitted if the vessel is in a foreign port and a person intends to register it in the Canadian Register of Vessels; or if the vessel is in a port in Canada and the Chief Registrar is satisfied that permission to operate the vessel should be granted before a Certificate of Registry can be issued. Temporary permission for a registered owner may be granted to transport or operate a vessel in Canadian waters while their Application for Registry is in process or if the vessel has been sold to a new owner who is outside of Canada. The Provisional Certificate usually takes 5-7 days to process, while Applications for Registry may take up to 45 days.


Alterations: Use this form to report changes or alterations to a Registered vessel. This includes changes in vessel dimensions, tonnage, fuel type and number of engines, type of propulsion (self-propelled, sail, auxiliary, etc.), engine horsepower and/or vessel speed, hull construction materials, HIN (Hull Identification Number) changes, vessel descriptor (fishing, passenger, tug, cargo) and intended use of vessel (pleasure, non-pleasure)


Ship Mortgage: Only vessels registered in the Canadian Register of Vessels may have mortgages. To learn if a registered vessel has a mortgage, please first check the Vessel Registration Query System (VRQS) under the field “Number of Encumbrances”.


Deletion from Registry/Close Registry: Use this form to close the Registry of a vessel from the Canadian Register of Vessels. Examples of reasons to close a vessel’s registry include, but are not limited to: Vessel sold to foreign citizen, change in type of vessel (e.g. non-pleasure to pleasure), vessel is lost, wrecked or removed from service.


Bareboat Charter Registration: “Bare-boat Charter” means a vessel charter agreement under which the charterer has complete possession and control of the vessel, including the right to appoint its master and crew. Use this form to register the Bareboat Charter Vessel.


Historical Research: If you require historical data on a registered or closed vessel, we can provide you with the information from the Ship Registration Computer System Database from 1984 to present. If the vessel was registered prior to 1984 (which is the year the automated system was implemented), we can provide you with the information on microfilm from 1904 to 1984. The last owner named on the microfilm should be the owner that is shown in the Ship Registration Computer System Database when the data was transferred from the microfilm to the automated system.


Government Vessel Registration: Every government vessel must be registered under the Canadian Register of Vessels. Please proceed to this form to complete your Government Vessel Registry Application.


Change of Address: Use this form to notify Transport Canada about a change of address.

NOTE: If you do not contact us about a change of address, and your certificate of registry is returned by the postal authorities, your registration may be suspended or cancelled.


Registration Renewal: There is no form associated with Certificate of Registry renewals in the Canadian Register of Vessels. A Certificate of Registry is valid for three (3) years. Transport Canada will issue a Certificate of Registry to the owner or the authorized representative 30 days before it expires. A valid Certificate of Registry must be on board the vessel at all times.




(in working days)
(achieved %)


  • uncertified & certified

Issuance of Provisional Certificate


*New priority – June 2013

  • Registration of the Builder’s Certificate


  • Transmission of mortgagee
  • Recording change to priorities of mortgages
  • Transfer – recorded builder’s mortgage and registered mortgage
  • Registration / Discharge of Mortgage/Assignment

Issuance of a Deletion Certificate

Replacement of a Certificate of Registry


  • Registry of bare-boat charter.
  • Suspension of Canadian registration (Bare-Boat Charter)
  • Reinstatement of Canadian registration after suspension

Temporary Recording of a vessel


Transfer of Ownership

Amendment of Register or CoR

Amendment/ CoR due to Transfer of Port

Issuance of a CoR due to change of name of Vessel


Initial registration


**Small Vessel Registry has a Service Standard of 45 days for their 1st Registration