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License It Or Lose It!

If you see what you believe is an unlicensed boat, why not use the Canal & River Trust Online Boat Checker

We believe that many boaters have got into the habit of contacting the Canal & River Trust on an ad hoc basis when they see boats that appear to be unlicensed.

To help you, the Canal & River Trust have developed an ONLINE CHECKER to help make this process of voluntary reporting more efficient for both boaters and C&RT.

The online boat license checker saves everyone time involved in making the manual checks on ad hoc reports, which often reveal that the boat is in fact licensed, but not displaying it.

BW's handheld Samsung Q1 computer
The Trust now regularly patrol every stretch of waterway using handheld computers and whenever they find an unlicensed boat, they create a 'notification' for the enforcement teams to investigate. Additional sightings made by waterway users can provide a useful supplement to this process.

License It Or Loose It!Additional sightings made by waterway users can provide a useful supplement to this ongoing process.

You can tell C&RT about an unlicensed boat they weren't already aware of and they will create a notification.

To check whether a boat is licensed, just enter its index number in the checker.

If the boat is not licensed, you will be able to report your sighting to C&RT. Each fully completed form will be logged in their 'sightings' database and assigned a priority for action.

If the boat you are checking does not have an index number displayed please enter '991100' in the box below and press 'submit'. You will then be taken to a page where you'll be able to enter other identifying features.


The information C&RT display to you on their site is permitted under the terms of the C&RT Data Protection Act's registration.

C&RT does not issue licences to its own workboats. A separate fleet management system includes ensuring that all of their boats comply with safety requirements.