Long term boat licences

If you keep and use a boat on our canals and rivers, you’ll need a licence. You can buy your long-term licence at any time of the year. They start on the first day of the month and last for either three months, six months or 12 months.

Note: you can only buy a three-month licence if you have a home mooring.

Before you buy a long-term boat licence you will need:

What we mean by boat

Types of long-term boat licence

If you use your boat for business, such as a floating café, renting it out for people to live on or as a holiday boat, you need a boating business licence.

If your boat is purely for your own private use, there are two options. Regardless of whether you have a home mooring or you are continuously cruising, you’ll need either:

our standard canal and river licence


a ‘Rivers only’ licence, which covers:

How much does a long-term private boat licence cost?

Your licence fee depends on the length and width (beam) of your boat, along with the length of time you want the licence for - three months, six months or 12 months.

You can only buy a three-month licence if you have a home mooring. It is not available to continuously cruising boats.

Licence fee discounts

There are a number of licence fee discounts. Please read our terms and conditions for details.

What the licence includes

All long-term licences allow you to keep and use your boat on our waters. You also get access to some boaters’ facilities, such as water points. See our boaters’ services pages for details.

What the licence doesn’t include

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

You can also pay your boat licence by calling our customer service team on 0303 040 4040.

Want to know more?

Last date edited: 10 May 2021