Follow these steps to ensure that you’re legally registered to operate a pleasure craft in Manitoba. 

Manitoba is one of those places that seems like a wonderland on earth, and its sparkling waters are just calling for a pleasure craft day. From the seashores to the lakes, boating is a way of life for many in Manitoba — after all, how couldn’t it be?

Whether you’re swimming, on the jet ski or catching some fish, there are some strict rules around proper licencing of pleasure crafts in Manitoba. Make sure you’re covered and ready to go with BOATsmart!’s guide to licencing your pleasure craft in Manitoba.

How Do I Know If My Boat Needs to Be Registered?

When you own and operate a boat in Manitoba, you’ll need to licence it or register it, depending on the type of boat you call yours. Most boats you would be using are considered pleasure crafts in Canada, which means they’re used for leisure. You know you’re the owner of a pleasure craft if you’re spending your time waterskiing, fishing or heading out to the cottage, so you’ll likely just need to licence your pleasure craft. If your pleasure craft has a motor of 7.5 kW (10 horsepower) or more, licensing is necessary.

In Canada, commercial vessels, government-owned vessels, barges, commercial river rafts, vessels with a marine mortgage and vessels travelling outside of Canada are the only things that require actual registration with the Canadian Register of Vessels. Pleasure crafts need a licence only.

What Boats Are Exempt?

If you’re owning and operating a pleasure craft in Manitoba, you’ll need to licence it. The only exceptions to the rule are:

  • Pleasure crafts with a motor of less than 10 horsepower (7.5 kW)
  • A pleasure craft with a Transport Canada registration
  • Pleasure crafts purchased less than 90 days ago (this is only a grace period, and pleasure craft boaters in Manitoba must carry documentation with their name, address, and purchase date)

How Do I Licence My Pleasure Craft in Manitoba?

To apply for a Pleasure Craft Licence in Manitoba, you have two options: apply online or complete a mail-in application. The Application for Pleasure Craft Licence can be printed and mailed alongside all required documents or can be completed electronically, and you’ll need the following documents:

  • The completed application
  • Signed photocopy of the valid government-issued identification for each owner
  • A copy of the bill of sale or proof of ownership (home-built boats without a bill of sale may submit a declaration under oath)
  • A current, full side view photo of the pleasure craft

How Much Does it Cost To Licence a Pleasure Craft in Manitoba?

There is no charge for getting your pleasure craft licence in Manitoba. However, any pleasure craft caught operating with no licence will be charged a fee of $250.

How Do I Transfer Ownership To My New Pleasure Craft?

In Canada, boat ownership transfers are pretty simple. All you’ll do to transfer ownership is complete the application for a Pleasure Craft Licence and write “transfer ownership” in the field marked for application reason. You’ll need the following pieces of documentation to transfer ownership to your new pleasure craft:

  • The completed application
  • Signed photocopy of the valid government-issued identification for each owner
  • A copy of the bill of sale or proof of ownership
  • A current, full side view photo of the pleasure craft

What Else Do I Need to Know About Pleasure Craft Licences in Manitoba?

Your pleasure craft must have the licence number displayed at all times on both sides of the boat’s bow in a contrasting colour that is easy to read. In Manitoba, your pleasure craft licence number must be displayed clearly and at at least 7.5 centimetres (or 3 inches) high, and the licence always needs to be carried on board.

In Manitoba and all Canadian provinces, Pleasure Craft Licences issued post-2010 are valid for 10 years, though the licence needs to be updated with any name or address changes.

family arriving at cottage via boat

In Canada, the rules are that each boater needs to carry Pleasure Craft Operator Cards to operate any motorized pleasure craft (which does include jet skis). To get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card in Manitoba, you’ll need to take a boating safety course like BOATsmart!’s, and it’s always a lot better with fun lessons.With an engaging curriculum and fully narrated and animated lessons, you’ll be properly equipped with all of the safety information you need to be a safe, legal Manitoba boater. Plus, your Pleasure Craft Operator Card is valid in every province—so you can jet ski, fish and boat no matter the province.