Registering in the Canadian Register of Vessels: Registry form help

The documentation for registering a vessel is complex. If you haven’t applied for vessel registration before, we recommend you read the following in full before you start.

Application for Registry form

Supporting documentation

Application for Registry form

Vessel name (Section A)

Provide 3 choices of the vessel name, in order of preference.

For safety reasons, each registered vessel must have a unique name. This needs to be the case when the name is said aloud, especially over the radio. For example, “Easy Living” and “EZ Livin” sound too much alike for both names to be approved.

Check to see if the name you want is already being used

The name you choose:

  • must be unique, even when said aloud
  • can’t use a registered trademark
  • can’t be a prohibited mark
  • can’t be confused with a distress signal
  • can’t include vessel acronyms, for example, “SV” for sailing vessel, or “FV” for fishing vessel
  • can include an article such as “the”, “le”, “la”, “l’”, though we don’t consider this when approving a vessel name (for example, “THE HAPPY DOLPHIN” is the same as “HAPPY DOLPHIN”)

You must provide an authorization letter, if you are using the name of:

  • a famous Canadian person
  • a city or town in Canada

Port of registry (Section A)

Choose a port of registry in one of the following provinces or territories:

Newfoundland and Labrador
  • St. John's
Prince Edward Island
  • Charlottetown
Nova Scotia
  • Digby
  • Halifax
  • Liverpool
  • Lunenburg
  • Pictou
  • Port Hawkesbury
  • Shelburne
  • Sydney
  • Weymouth
  • Yarmouth
New Brunswick
  • Bathurst
  • Caraquet
  • Chatham
  • Grand Manan
  • Moncton
  • St. Andrews
  • Saint John
  • Cap-aux-Meules
  • Chicoutimi
  • Gaspé
  • Montréal
  • Québec
  • Sorel
  • Trois-Rivières
  • Belleville
  • Brockville
  • Chatham
  • Collingwood
  • Cornwall
  • Goderich
  • Hamilton
  • Kenora
  • Kingston
  • Midland
  • Nanticoke
  • Ottawa
  • Owen Sound
  • Peterborough
  • Port Colborne
  • Port Dover
  • Prescott
  • St. Catharines
  • Sarnia
  • Sault Ste-Marie
  • Thunder Bay
  • Toronto
  • Wallaceburg
  • Windsor
  • Winnipeg
  • Prince Albert
  • Edmonton
British Columbia
  • Nanaimo
  • New Westminster
  • Prince Rupert
  • Port Alberni
  • Vancouver
  • Victoria
  • Dawson
  • Whitehorse
Northwest Territories
  • Hay River
  • Yellowknife
  • Iqaluit

You can change your vessel’s port of registry.

Details of each owner (Section C)

Provide the name and address of each owner.

Not everyone can own a registered vessel in Canada. Vessels may be owned by:

  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • a Canadian corporation
  • a foreign corporation
  • a Canadian government (provincial or federal)

Learn more about who may own vessels registered in Canada

Ownership of shares

The ownership of a vessel is divided into 64 shares, which can be owned jointly or split individually when there is more than 1 owner.

Supporting documentation

Evidence of ownership

All documents must be in either English or French or a certified translation. Be sure to include a copy of the document in its original language, along with the certified translation.

If your vessel was… Send in this documentation

Newly built in Canada

If not, we also need all the intervening Bills of Sale showing the complete sequence of title up to you

Newly built in a foreign country

  • Foreign country’s Builder’s Certificate if the vessel was built for you

If not, contact the Vessel Registration Office


  • The notarized (by a foreign or Canadian notary) or authenticated (by Canadian consular officer) Bill of Sale from the last foreign owner to the first Canadian owner
  • All intervening Bills of Sale showing the complete sequence of title up to you

Canadian-built, always Canadian-owned

Foreign-registered or foreign-documented

Deletion Certificate or an Abstract or Transcript of Registry issued by the foreign registry, proving the foreign registry is closed and is free and clear of encumbrances


Contact the Vessel Registration Office for guidance if none of the above-noted scenarios apply to your vessel

Appointing a representative

If the vessel is owned by more than 1 owner or by a foreign corporation, complete and send in Form 14 - Appointment of Authorized Representative [PDF, 35 KB] form.