Register a boat

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Who to contact

How you register your boat depends on the waterway you want to use and the type of membership you have.

If you have a British Canoeing or British Rowing membership

You may not need to register your canoe, rowing boat, kayak or paddle board if you’re a member of British Canoeing.

Rowing clubs or associations can register a rowing boat for use on some waterways through British Rowing.

How to register or license your boat

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 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 Folkestone and Hythe 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

Check with the Inland Waterways Association 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.