Pleasure Boats Licence

You need a Pleasure Boat Licence to hire out water-bound pleasure crafts including sailboards, rowing boats, canoes and motor boats for carrying passengers.


Pleasure Boats Licence


Local Council

COST £100
VALID FOR 1 year

Documentation required

A surveyor's report of the suitability of the boat
Evidence of public liability insurance up to £5,000,000

Application for Pleasure Boats Licence.

Submit requested documentation
Apply via local council
Get Licenced

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What is a Pleasure Boats Licence?

If you either own or you are in charge of a pleasure boat that is to be let out for hire to members of the public or to be used for carrying fare paying passengers you must obtain a Pleasure Boats Licence.


We make having a pleasure boat licence a simple, stress-free process


How to apply for a Pleasure Boats Licence

A Pleasure Boats Licence must be made via your local council. You can find the contact details for your local council at the Official UK Government Website.


What are the conditions for a Pleasure Boats Licence?

The following conditions must be followed and withheld at all times once an applicant has a Pleasure Boats Licence.


you must not carry more passengers than your Pleasure Boats Licence permits (normally no more than 12).

you may also need a certificate stating the boat is properly designed, constructed, maintained and equipped and will be safe for how and where you want to use it.

your local council may also attach other conditions to your Pleasure Boats Licence, for example what insurance you need and on which waterways you can take your boat on.


Displaying your licence

You must display a copy of your Pleasure Boats Licence in a visible place inside the boat.


If you use a pleasure boat to carry passengers, you must also clearly mark it with the name of its owner and the words “licensed to carry persons” plus the maximum number of passengers allowed.


Fines and penalties

If you don’t hold a Pleasure Boats Licence and hire out or use your pleasure boat to carry passengers, you could be fined up to £1,000.


Note - You could also be fined £1,000 if you don’t follow any conditions of your licence.



You need a pleasure boats licence to hire out water-bound pleasure crafts including sailboards, rowing boats, canoes, motor boats, pedalos and larger boats for personal use or carrying passengers.
No. It is in the public interest that the local council must process your application before it can be granted. However, if you have not heard from the local council within a reasonable period, please contact it. Each council’s policy on consent apply will differ.

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