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Self-drive boats licence

Any person wishing to use a boat or other craft in British rivers and canals are required to register, or obtain a British waterways licence, or pay a toll. The registration certificate expires usually on 31 December each year and requires renewal. Renewal reminders are sent out each year during December this may differ from borough to borough.

British Waterways runs almost all the canals, and rivers such as the Severn, Trent and Yorkshire Ouse. Before being issued with a licence you will need to provide evidence that your boat meets safety standards (the Boat Safety Scheme) and has third-party insurance.

External Website Links

Further information from British Waterways about Self Drive Boats.

A to Z of Services


Customer First
Town Hall
St Nicholas Street
North Yorkshire
YO11 2HG
Telephone: 01723 232323
Fax: 01723 506600
LGNL: 740
Scarborough Borough Council,Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. YO11 2HG
Customer First Contact Centre