2. 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, eg 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 annual registrations run from 1 January to 31 December. Other registrations run from 1 April to 31 March.

The Royal Military Canal

You don’t 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 if you need to register your boat with Scottish Canals or NI Direct.

Other areas

Contact the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities to find the navigation authority for other areas.

Using more than one waterway

You can buy a ‘gold licence’ which lets you use all Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust waterways.

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.