The charity making life better by water

Gold licences

If you regularly use both our waterways and those owned by the Environment Agency (EA), you can save money on your boat licence by having a combined gold licence.

Narrowboat moving along the Regent's Canal with the sun reflecting in the water

All Gold licences run from 1 January and expire on 31 December.

If you have not previously held a gold licence, you may be eligible for a part year licence. If you have previously held a Gold licence then your licence will be required to start on 1 January 2023.

Who is this licence suitable for?

Anyone that has a boat with a motor, including river boats and canal boats, and uses both our waterways and rivers owned by the Environmental Agency (EA).

Please note that this licence doesn't cover a tender. You'll need to register or licence this separately with us and the EA individually.

What do I need to do before I buy a Gold boat licence?

Before buying your Gold licence, there are a few things you need to do.

Which waterways are covered by the Gold licence?

All our canals and rivers, plus EA's:

  • River Thames
  • River Medway
  • River Nene
  • River Great Ouse System
  • River Ancholme
  • River Glen above Surfleet Sluice
  • River Welland above Spalding Lock
  • River Stour

Gold licences fees 2023

If your boat is less than 3.5 metres (11'5”) wide, the cost starts from £678, depending on its length.

If your home mooring is on the River Thames, you can get a quote for a wider boat by calling 0303 040 4040.

For vessels over 23.09 metres/75'9” prices are available on request.

Are there licence fee discounts?

Yes:

  • Our prompt payment discount is already deducted from the payment in full
  • 25% discount is issued for boats powered by a permanently fitted inboard electric motor

If you have a historic boat and you want to claim the historic boat discount, call 0303 040 4040

What does the Gold licence include?

All gold licences allow you to keep and use your boat on our waters, and some of those owned by the EA. You also get access to some boaters' facilities, such as water points. See our boaters' services pages for details.

What doesn't the Gold licence include?

You don't get windlasses, keys or cards with your licence. You can buy these from our online shop. Windlasses are available from most local chandleries.

You need to get a separate key for the EA's Anglian Waterways (£15.00) per key. You can get this by calling the EA.

To contact the Environment Agency, call 03708 506 506, email [email protected] or see their website.

Sunset reflected on the canal with boats moored on either side

How do I buy a Gold licence?

You can apply for a Gold licence by filling in the application form. The form explains what you'll need and how to pay. You can also apply over the phone.

Information for continuous cruisers

We will not consider any cruising carried out on EA waterways when we review your licence to ensure it meets our guidance. We will only consider cruising completed on Trust waterways.

We will review your cruising, pro rata, for the time you are sighted on our waterways.

Last Edited: 21 December 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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