This page is all about the boat licence support team: what we do, why we do it and how you, as a boater, can get help.
Boats bring life to our waterways. And we believe that every boater deserves a fair chance to use and explore our canals and rivers. That’s why we need to make sure they remain open, flowing and fair for all.
Applying for a licence doesn’t just mean you can experience our canals and rivers – it also means we can keep our waterways fit for the demands of today and needs of tomorrow. As a charity, we’re always looking to raise money to make that happen, and our boaters’ licence fees play a crucial role – in fact, they cover around a fifth of our running costs.
Everyone’s combined efforts make a huge difference, as showed in the last financial year. This support meant we were able to increase how much we could spend on caring for our canals and rivers, including on repair and maintenance, by 8% to £128 million. This meant that we could help in emergencies such as the Christmas floods in 2015 in Lancashire and Yorkshire. It just shows how far everyone’s passion to keep our waterways flowing can go.
To allow us to do our job and keep our waterways open and fair for all, we need to ensure all boaters using them are playing their part too.
"Thank you for your prompt and courteous action to resolve this.” Boating customer
Our boat licence customer support team work up and down the country to look after the licensing of the boats on our canals and rivers. Part of that is making sure boaters understand the terms and conditions of their licence, such as sticking to their mooring times and cruising appropriately. This is so every boater has a fair chance to explore as much of the network as they want.
In the unlikely event that you’re not following the conditions of your licence, the team may have to take suitable action. But rest assured that we will always contact you beforehand to give you as much time as possible to get in touch with us.
We’d always encourage you to contact your local officer if you ever find yourself in a situation that means you can’t keep to the terms and conditions of your licence. You can find the contact details of your local officer on this map.
An additional, crucial, part of the team’s role is to support boaters who are in need and, for whatever reason, are struggling to follow the rules. The team have always worked closely with boaters to help find ways to assist them where they can – for example agreeing to longer stay times when having medical treatment.
In addition we have expert advice on hand in the form of welfare officer, Sean Williams, who helps the team find the best support to suit a particular boater’s needs.
"For several years I've had occasional need to speak with your enforcement team and I must say they have always been most constructive and helpful.” Boating customer
With over 2,000 miles to care for, the team is split into regions to cover the network – each region has a supervisor who manages a team of officers, shown in this map, and rangers.
If you want to licence your boat you need to call our Customer Services team on 0303 040 4040. If it's about something else, for example, if you’re concerned about a particular boat, or want some advice about our guidance and you’d like to contact one of the supervisors, you'll find their details below. Alternatively you'll find the details of the Licence Support Officer for your region on this map.
Last date edited: 2 November 2017