Who to contact
Register or license your boat with the navigation authority responsible for the waterway you want to use.
Most canals and some rivers, like the Severn, Trent and Ouse
Register with the Canal & River Trust.
Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, and adjacent waters
Register with the Broads Authority.
River Thames, River Medway, and the rivers of East Anglia
Download the application form for the waterway you want to use and register with the Environment Agency:
- River Thames
- River Medway
- Anglian waterways (Great Ouse System, River Nene, River Stour, River Ancholme, Black Sluice, River Welland and River Glen)
- Rye Harbour
River Thames annual registrations run from 1 January to 31 December. Other registrations run from 1 April to 31 March.
The Royal Military Canal
You do not need to register a boat for use between West Hythe Dam in Shorncliffe, Kent and Iden Lock in Cliffe End, East Sussex.
Contact Shepway District Council to register a boat for use between West Hythe Dam and Seabrook.
Scotland and Northern Ireland
Check with the Inland Waterways Association to find the navigation authority for other areas.
Using more than one waterway
Canoe or rowing boat exemptions
You may not need to register a canoe with the navigation authority if you’re a member of the British Canoe Union.
Rowing clubs or associations can register a rowing boat for use on some waterways through British Rowing.