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Station Licenses and US Travel Information

Station Licenses and US Travel Information

Radio Station Licences Still Required

Statement from Jim Laursen at Industry Canada.

“In 1999 we de-licensed marine and aeronautical and entered into negotiations with the United States for a reciprocal agreement for aircraft and boaters crossing the border into the USA, the idea being that we would not require a license in either country. Recently, in post 9/11 USA, other issues have taken the forefront and this issue was relegated to the back burner for the time being and an agreement was not reached.

As you are all aware, our exemption only applies in Canadian waters. When a vessel or aircraft is in the sovereign territory of any foreign administration, the provisions of the ITU apply, which requires that all stations be licensed unless there is a treaty between the administrations involved.

Since we do not have a treaty at this point in time, from this day forward, we should advise our clients enquiring about travel into the USA (air or marine) that they will require a license to fully comply with international law. It may save someone’s holiday by explaining that in these post 9/11 days of increasing uncertainty, you never know when zero tolerance attitudes may surface and cause travelers grief if their paper work is not all in order. It is fairly inexpensive to obtain and maintain your Canadian licensing, and these days licensing, operators certificates and passports are all considered very good things to have.”

If anyone has questions please contact Jim Laursen at Industry Canada.

How to obtain/renew a Station Licence

1) You can renew a lapsed radio licence provided it just lapsed this year (April 2004). If a licence is unpaid / delinquent / cancelled, it is purged from the system in the fall, and no record will remain. This likely means that lapsed licences will be "renewable" for another few months before a new application is required.

2) Download the application form here

A list of district offices are available in RIC 66 at:


3) Short term licences are available but realistically, they are not really the way to go. They are only available monthly and after a couple of months cost the same as doing one yearly licence, (which is about $36), also with the yearly licence, you only do the paperwork once.

The form to fill by us as pleasure craft is IC-3020: Application for a Maritime Mobile Radio Station Licence for a Voluntarily Fitted Ship

They are still hopeful that we will have a reciprocal agreement with the USA someday soon but more pressing matters are occupying their time right now.It is Industry Canada's opinion that the licence is cheap assurance when visiting "foreign" ports. "In these days of uncertainty and homeland security issues... you never know when zero tolerance might pop up or and over-zealous border/customs person might ruin you outing/holiday by requesting radio licences".