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Boat Licences

Boat Licences

If you want to use a boat or other craft on the UK's rivers and canals, you must register, buy a licence or pay a toll to the appropriate navigation authority for that waterway. Hire boats are licensed by the hire company, but you may want to use the boat on a waterway that it is not licensed for. If this is your plan you should consult the company first.

If you already know you need to pay for a British Waterways licence or an Environmental Agency registration, you can now do this online on the waterscape website.

If you wish to be in charge of or navigate a pleasure boat or vessel for the purpose of carrying passengers for hire, you must obtain the appropriate licence from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Passenger Vessel Code Survey Certificate and the boat must be maintained to these standards.

The Council's Licensing Division issue pleasure boat licences for vessels carrying no more than 12 passengers and which are under 24 metres in length, on voyages that are at no time outside categorised waters (i.e. waters not regarded as 'sea').

Please note: pleasure boat operators who wish to go outside categorised waters or carry more than 12 passengers on boats which are over 24 metres in length should contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for advice.

Downloadable application form: 

The applicant must:

  • Have full knowledge of all statutory rules, regulations and byelaws applicable to navigation on all waters for which the licence is required.
  • Hold a current Full Boatmans Licence.
  • Have insurance to cover the boat, liability to passengers and third parties to a minimum of £2,000,000. 
  • Hold a Current Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Passenger Vessel Code Survey Certificate.

Licences are issued yearly and are not transferable nor can they be back dated. The council may suspend or revoke a licence at any time if it feels that this is necessary in the interests of the public.

Timescale:

We aim to deal with grant and renewal applications within 70 days for Boatman's licences and 84 days for Pleasure Boat licences. Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted/renewed if you have not heard from us by the end of the above application period.

Note:

Licensing Act 2003

If alcohol or regulated entertainment is provided on board to passengers then a Premises Licence is required under the above Act. Contact the Licensing Division for further details. It is an offence under s.136 of the above Act, to provide alcohol for sale or supply without the provision of a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice in place.

The restricted licence relates only to the taking charge of boats from the ‘shore', this includes:

  • Having full knowledge of all statutory rules, regulations and byelaws applicable to navigation on all waters for which the licence is required
  • Hold a current Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) ML5 Medical Certificate completed by their own General Practitioner
  • The applicant must not suffer from any disease or physical disability which could affect his or her fitness to assist in the charge of pleasure boats let for hire 
  • You must be 18 years of age or over.

Downloadable application form: 

Licences are issued yearly and are not transferable nor can they be back dated. The council may suspend or revoke a licence at any time if it feels that this is necessary in the interests of the public.

Timescale: 

We aim to deal with grant and renewal applications within 70 days for Boatman's licences and 84 days for Pleasure Boat licences. Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted/renewed if you have not heard from us by the end of the above application period.

Note:

Licensing Act 2003

If alcohol or regulated entertainment is provided on board to passengers then a Premises Licence is required under the above Act. Contact the Licensing Division for further details. It is an offence under s.136 of the above Act, to provide alcohol for sale or supply without the provision of a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice in place.

The full boatman's licence enables the holder to take charge of and navigate boats on the water, including the carriage of passengers for hire. To obtain a Full Boatman's Licence, the following requirements must be met:

  • Have full knowledge of all statutory rules, regulations and byelaws applicable to navigation on all waters for which the licence is required
  • Hold a current Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) ML5 Medical Certificate completed by their own General Practitioner
  • The applicant must not suffer from any disease or physical disability which could affect his or her fitness to operate and be in charge of pleasure boats let for hire 
  • Be over 18 years of age.

Downloadable application form: 

Licences are issued yearly and are not transferable nor can they be back dated. The council may suspend or revoke a licence at any time if it feels that this is necessary in the interests of the public.

Timescale:

We aim to deal with grant and renewal applications within 70 days for Boatman's licences and 84 days for Pleasure Boat licences. Tacit consent applies. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted/renewed if you have not heard from us by the end of the above application period.

Note:

Licensing Act 2003

If alcohol or regulated entertainment is provided on board to passengers then a Premises Licence is required under the above Act. Contact the Licensing Division for further details. It is an offence under s.136 of the above Act, to provide alcohol for sale or supply without the provision of a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice in place.

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Contact details

Licensing Department
PO Box 42
Church Square House
Scunthorpe
DN15 6XQ

Telephone: 01724 297750
Email: licensing@northlincs.gov.uk

Last updated: 28/05/2015