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Pleasure Boat Licensing

Chapters in this topic

  1. Introduction
  2. Apply and pay


You’ll need a pleasure boat licence if you’re going to hire boats for personal use or use them to carry up to 12 passengers, unless they’re staying in waters owned or managed by the Canal and River Trust, who have their own licensing scheme.

If you don’t get a licence, you could receive a fine.

As well as a licence, you’ll also need:

  • a professional qualification which certifies you to use a boat safely
  • the latest boat inspection certificate from a qualified marine surveyor or equivalent

What you’ll need to do

If your application for a licence is successful, you’ll need to:

  • paint your own name and the number of passengers your licence allows you to carry where passengers can see it in the form ‘Licensed to carry persons’
  • display your licence so passengers can see it