You must register or license your boat if you want to keep or use it on inland waterways, such as rivers and canals.
A boat is:
- any vessel with or without a motor, for example a sailing boat, river boat, canal boat or houseboat
- any ‘open boat’ such as canoe, paddle board, rowing boat or dinghy
To get a boat registration you must have:
You must renew each year for the waterway you want to keep or use your boat on. You can buy a visitor registration or licence for shorter periods.
Carry more than 12 passengers
You must have a passenger-carrying certificate issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency if you want to carry more than 12 passengers.
You must apply for a boatmaster’s licence if you want to use your boat commercially.
Use at sea
You can register your boat with the UK Ship Register for use at sea.