Guidance, application forms and charges information to apply for a boat registration (licence) on the River Thames.
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.
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 boats (excludes houseboats).
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 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
Telephone 03708 506 506
Minicom (for the hard of hearing) 03702 422 549
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
For further information about boat registration see Register a boat.
Closures and restrictions take place on the River Thames throughout the year, please check closures and restrictions information before you plan your journey.
Boat registration (licence) forms
Boat registration (licence) changes
Published: 31 March 2014
Updated: 26 January 2017
- We have added an application form to register a houseboat on the River Thames.
- 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.
- We have added an application form for registration of a launch on the River Thames.
- First published.