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River Thames: boat registration and application forms

Guidance, application forms and charges information to apply for a boat registration (licence) on the River Thames.

You will receive a registration certificate and plate by email.

The plate must be printed and displayed on your boat.

We can print and post a registration certificate and plate to you if you do not have access to a printer. This may take a little longer than normal.

All vessels on Environment Agency waterways must be registered. A vessel includes not only boats such as narrowboats, cruisers and barges, but also unpowered enclosed boats, canoes and rowing skiffs.

Registration costs for powered boats are based on the area of your boat calculated in square metres by multiplying the length by the beam (width). There is a set charge for unpowered open boats (excludes unpowered enclosed boats).

To calculate the charge for your registration, visit our charges sheet.

The Environment Agency doesn’t currently offer an online boat registration renewal service. To renew your boat registration, contact the boat registration team.

The Environment Agency aim to process your application as quickly as possible. At busy times it can take up to 10 working days from the day of receipt to issue your registration, please allow additional time for postage.

You can buy a visitor registration for either a powered or an unpowered open boat at any River Thames lock when there is a lock keeper on duty. To buy your visitor registration at the lock you must complete the registration form they provide you with onsite, we cannot accept any other forms.

Environment Agency boat registration team

PO Box 544
Rotherham
S60 1BY

Email boatreg@environment-agency.gov.uk

Telephone 03708 506 506

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges

For further information about boat registration see Register a boat.

Closures and restrictions take place on the River Thames throughout the year. Please check restrictions and closures information before you plan your journey.

Information

Boat registration (licence) forms

Payment forms

Boat registration (licence) changes

Published 31 March 2014
Last updated 9 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated for the 2022 boat registration year

  2. For 2021, you will receive a registration certificate and plate by email. The plate must be printed and displayed on your boat.

  3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) update on registration plates added.

  4. River Thames: boat registration privacy notice added.

  5. We have added an application form to register a houseboat on the River Thames.

  6. Introductory text changed to: All vessels on Environment Agency waterways must be registered. A vessel includes not only boats such as narrowboats, cruisers and barges, but also unpowered house boats, canoes and rowing skiffs.

  7. We have added an application form for registration of a launch on the River Thames.

  8. First published.