Boating Ontario Trailer License Announcement


Mar 22, 2019

Following months of negotiations and meetings on the subject, Rick Layzell, CEO of Boating Ontario and Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation for Ontario, held a media conference at the spring Cottage Life Show on March 21st to announce a solution for marinas and boat dealers who sell and service recreational boats using company trucks.

Watch a video clip of the announcement here:






For literally decades in the province of Ontario, marinas and boat dealers using company trucks to trailer boats, have been without a proper trailer licensing solution.

Here are the two current scenarios.

1.) Marinas or dealers trailering new, unregistered boats and trailers for display in a boat show or customer demonstration, were required to purchase a license plate for the trailer. This required the marina to send one of their people to a Service Ontario location, pay $35 to register the trailer and get a license plate in the dealer’s name. The dealer would be fined if the trailer was not properly licensed.

Then, when the boat and trailer were sold, the dealer had to return to a Service Ontario location and pay another fee; often between $35 and $75 to change the registration plus the additional cost of more employee time.

2.) The second scenario was that when dealers sold the boat and trailer package and went to deliver it to the customer, the trailer license would be in the customer’s name which made it illegal to be towed by their company trucks.

Further to that, when a marina or dealer was picking up a customer’s boat on a customer’s trailer to perform service or warranty work, it would have the customers license plates and again, marinas were being stopped and fined.


Boating Ontario and the MTO have announced a one plate solution for this long-standing and very expensive problem.

Marinas and dealers will now be able to purchase yellow Service Plates. The language around the new legislation allows industry to transport “…for sale, exhibition or demonstration…” with the yellow plate on the trailer.

In addition, marinas and dealers can now carry the yellow Service Plate when towing customer boats and customer trailers.

Stated Rick Layzell, “It’s important to remember that this does not affect annual inspection requirements for company trucks. Members will still need the yellow stickers that indicate the truck has passed inspection. Also, the combined GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) still must be adhered to.”

“This is a huge win for our industry,” added Layzell. “I was personally ticketed in 1995 while moving a new boat for my employer and the problem has continued until now. It has affected basically every marina and dealer in the province for decades. We thank our colleagues at TIAO (Tourism Industry Association of Ontario) for their endless support and we are proud to say that the snowmobile and ATV sectors are also going to benefit from this change. We are very pleased and appreciative with how responsive and understanding Minister Yurek and his staff at the Ministry of Transportation have been in this matter. They have moved very quickly to resolve a serious and long-standing red tape issue.”

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