Transport Canada Launches E-Licensing Pilot Project

Approximately 35 dealers across Canada will have the opportunity to participate in new e-licensing pilot project that will begin in the next two weeks. The project is designed to simplify the process of licensing and transferring ownership of boats by offering dealers an online component.

The launch of the Pleasure Craft Licence Online Application project was announced by Transport Canada at the spring bi-annual Canadian Marine Advisory Council meeting held in Ottawa in April. The project is scheduled to run up until November 1, 2010, when boat registration moves from Service Canada to Transport Canada.

According Sara Anghel, vice-president of government relations and public affairs for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada, Transport Canada has been working with the NMMA and provincial marine trade associations for several months to get the project up and running. Anghel is optimistic that the issue of improving the process has been taken off the shelf and is now once again being addressed. “NMMA Canada is working closely with senior staff at Transport Canada to ensure the program is developed well and allows for additional opportunities for the industry,” says Anghel.

Mélanie Quesnel, Media Relations Advisor for Transport Canada revealed what one of those opportunities included. “Participating boat dealers will able to submit applications for pleasure craft licences electronically on behalf of their customers, for both new and transferred licences,” says Quesnel. “This process will allow pleasure craft to be marked for immediate use.”

Dealers, who have been anticipating a system to expedite the licensing process, are looking forward to the improvements that may come from this pilot.

“Hopefully it this e-licensing pilot will lead to a system that will take less time, cost less money and leave the customer with a more positive experience,” says Calie Krauss, COO for Pisces Marine in Oakville, ON – one of the dealers that will be participating in the pilot. “Right now we can either fax in our registrations, which will take anywhere from four days to a week or if we need it the same day we drive them up to Service Canada, but sometimes you need to wait for some time in line.”

As an added benefit, the Pleasure Craft Licensing program will also enhance public safety by providing law enforcement and search and rescue agencies with access to licence information, such as the identity of a pleasure craft's owner, which is essential in emergency situations.