What is a Compliance Notice?

The Small Vessel Regulations require all pleasure craft that are less than 24 m in length and that are, or can be fitted with a motor, to have a Compliance Notice (boats longer than 24 m in length are exempt from this requirement). This metal label is attached to your boat’s hull and it should be visible from the operator’s seat.

Canadian Compliance Notice and Gross Load Capacity Plate

What Information is on a Compliance Notice?

Compliance Notices for boats less than 6 meters in length provide three important pieces of information:

  • Recommended gross load capacity: The maximum weight your boat is designed to carry including persons, gear, equipment, supplies, fuel and motor assembly.
  • Recommended safe limits of engine power: The maximum limit of horsepower (engine size) based on the boat’s gross load capacity.
  • Maximum number of adults: The maximum number of adult persons that your boat can safely carry.

The Compliance Notice sets a maximum limit for each of these capacities based on safe operation in fair weather conditions. Be aware of the limitations and handling characteristics of your boat and NEVER overload it.

Hull Identification Number

All pleasure craft made in Canada, or imported into Canada after August 1, 1981 (with or without a motor), must have a Hull Identification Number (HIN).

A HIN helps to find lost or stolen boats and identify boats that are subject to a recall. The HIN must be permanently marked on the outside upper starboard corner of the transom or as close to that area as possible. The HIN is 12 digits long and no character of the HIN can be less than 6 mm (1/4”) in height and width.

Licensing your Boat

A Pleasure Craft License is a document that contains a set of ID numbers that must be displayed on your boat for identification purposes. A Pleasure Craft License is different than Vessel Registration, which provides proof of ownership.

Pleasure Craft License Application

The Small Vessel Regulations require all boats that are mostly operated or kept in Canada of all sizes with a primary propulsion motor of 10 hp (7.5 KW) or more to have a Pleasure Craft License (unless they are registered). If your boat is already licensed, make sure that your contact information is up-to-date. You can obtain a 10 year license for free from the Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre. A copy of your vessel license must be carried onboard with you during operation.

You must display your Pleasure Craft License number above the waterline on both sides of the bow, as far forward as practical, and where it is easy to see. The numbers must be in block letters, at least 7.5 cm (3”) high, and must contrast with the colour of the background.