Do I Need A Licence?


Almost all waterways are maintained by a waterway authority – and their work needs to be paid for. So, you need a waterway licence before navigating on their waters, whether you are visiting briefly, cruising for weeks or planning to live aboard.

The two principle waterways authorities are.

The Canal & Rivers Trust (formally British Waterways) who care for about 80% of the canal system and several rivers.

The Environment Agency (EA) which looks after the non-tidal Thames, the Anglian Waterways, the Medway and others through its regional offices.

There are several smaller navigation authorities, such as Avon Navigation Trust (ANT) which looks after the River Avon between Stratford- upon-Avon and Tewkesbury and you will require a separate licence for this waterway.

You can now apply for your licence!

This can be done online at

See Their Website Here

You will need your insurance and a current boat safety certificate.