We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Licensing your own boat

Before you launch your boat, you need to buy a licence (or registration). This allows you to cruise around and to keep your boat on the waterways.

Just like road tax, you will need to provide evidence that your boat meets safety standards (the Boat Safety Scheme) and has third-party insurance before being issued with a licence.

There are conditions attached to the licence and it’s important that you and your crew understand these. Before we agree to grant a licence, you must provide evidence that you have insurance covering liability for damage to others, that it meets our minimum safety standards (the equivalent of an MOT) and (for the majority of boaters) that you have somewhere where you can lawfully keep it when it’s not actually cruising. 

A small portable boat, one that is not kept on the water when not in use and can be lifted out by its own crew (without mechanical help!), won't need a home mooring but anything that stays on the water will. The only exception to this last requirement is if you intend to navigate all the time, not staying in the same place for more than 14 days.

Read more about licensing your boat


Last date edited: 29 April 2016