For decades, the boating industry has been faced with a challenge when moving boats from point A to point B for consumer events, boat shows, service, winterizing and storage.  Boating Ontario’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry has ended with today’s very positive industry announcement.

In August 2018 Boating Ontario began yet another push on regulatory change to eliminate the red tape for industry.  We acted as the voice of the industry at multiple meetings and lobby days across the province including OPP headquarters, MTO (Ministry of Transportation) stake holder consultations, commercial towing presentation, AMO (Association of Municipalities Ontario) conference, TIAO (Tourism Industry Association of Ontario) lobby days, ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association) conference among others.

There have been two issues at play which have led to the industry expressing a desire for a single plate that would allow them to legally tow a boat in the following scenarios;

  • The movement of new boats on new trailers to a boat show, on water demo or any other event. Marinas and dealers currently trailering new, unregistered boats and trailers are required to purchase a license plate at Service Ontario in order to be legal on Ontario’s roads.
  • The legal movement of a consumer’s boat for service, warranty work or storage. As long as the trailer was plated in the consumers name, it was illegal for us to move their boat with our annually inspected trucks.

Boating Ontario is excited to announce that the MTO has filed a regulatory amendment that will provide a solution for businesses engaged in sales, service and storage of boats. Where combined weight of the boat and trailer is under 2,800 kg (approx 6,100 lbs), we will now be eligible to purchase and use a yellow Service Plate to legally transport new boats and trailers for sale, exhibition or demonstration.  In addition, this same yellow Service Plate can be used when towing customer boats and trailers for service, warranty work or storage.

Boating Ontario considers this change in regulation to be “a huge win for the industry and the beginning of a great new working relationship with the MTO” stated Rick Layzell, CEO of Boating Ontario. “We thank our colleagues at TIAO (Tourism Industry Association of Ontario) for their support and we are proud to say that the snowmobile and ATV sectors are also going to benefit from this change. This cost-effective solution for industry is a great step forward. 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. The MTO ministerial and departmental staff moved very quickly to resolve a serious and long-standing red tape issue. Boating Ontario looks forward to continued collaboration with the MTO in future discussions.”

If you have any questions, please call the Boating Ontario office at 1-888-547-6662.

View the full MTO announcement here

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Brad grew up at the family cottage on Lake Simcoe using both powerboats and sailboats. A veteran journalist with large national daily newspapers, outdoor interest magazines, and syndicated television shows, Brad has entertained and educated readers for over 25 years with his unique family-inclusive perspective. His favorite pastime is teaching others to use their boats to access the freedom and beauty of a Life Afloat. Brad, his wife, and their three daughters have traveled and boated all over North America and the Caribbean, but choose to keep their "floating home" on the fresh waters of Central Ontario.