Licensing your canoe

Did you know you can go canoeing, kayaking, rowing and even paddleboarding on our canals and rivers? Here's what you need to know about licensing your unpowered craft so you can enjoy our waterways by paddle.

Why your canoe or kayak needs a licence

Yes, it's not just narrowboats and barges that need a licence on our waterways. All portable, unpowered craft such as canoes, kayaks, dinghies, rowing boats, paddleboards and even light inflatable craft do too. 

The only exception is for current members of British Canoeing and Canoe Wales who get to use our waterways for free as part of their membership.

Our 2,000 miles of canals and rivers need a lot of TLC to keep them in great shape for everyone to use and enjoy - no matter the size of craft. As well as maintaining things like canal walls or water flow, your licence fee goes towards making sure there are enough easy access points, ramps and slipways for example.

Types of canoe / kayak licence

Long term canoe / kayak licences

(Valid From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020)

12 months canals and rivers  
Portable unpowered* £53.71
Prompt payment** £51.02

Licences begin on the first day of the month.

*  ‘Portable’ means the boat’s normal crew can, without mechanical help, launch the boat and take it out of the water. 

** If you renew your canoe licence before it expires, you can take advantage of our 'prompt payment discount' - a 5% discount on the standard fee. 

Short term canoe  / kayak licences

Our short term visitor licences are ideal as they come in a range of times to suit your needs:

(Valid From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020)

  Canals and rivers     Rivers only  
  30 day explorer  1 month     1 week    1 month    1 week   
Unpowered £37.44 £28.08 £18.72 £16.85 £11.23

Our 30 day explorer licence which allows 30 separate day tickets within a 12 month period.

Buy your canaoe / kayak licence online

The easiest way to pay your fees is by signing up to our boat licensing online account. Then you can pay for what you need, when you need it. 

Need a bit of help? Watch our how to licence you boat videos first.

You can also find more information on our licences FAQs page

Last date edited: 11 April 2019