Oregon State Marine Board: Waterway Permitting FAQs: Information for Boaters: State of Oregon (2023)

Oregon State Marine Board: Waterway Permitting FAQs: Information for Boaters: State of Oregon (1)

Oregon State Marine Board: Waterway Permitting FAQs: Information for Boaters: State of Oregon (2)

Paddle boats (SUPs, rafts, drift boats, kayaks, canoes, etc.) 10 feet or longer must be able to purchase and digitally display (or have a paper copy) permit per boat when used.

  • Permits are transferrable to other non-motorized vessels.
  • SB 47 – Waterway Access Account Legislation

The Marine Board offers two options for purchasing permits through oursBoot Oregon Store:

  • Andan annual permit, valid for the current calendar year (expires December 31) for $18.50 and;
  • Atwo-year permit, valid for the current and next calendar year (expires December 31st of the year after purchase) for $31.50.
  • Permission prices include a $1.50 portal provider fee.

Three permit purchase options are available viaODFW Electronic Licensing System(ELS), the MyODFW app, or an authorized ODFW representative:

  • Andone week vacation(valid for 7 consecutive days of your choice) for $7
  • an annual permitfor $19
  • two-year permitfor $32
  • These approval prices include ODFW's $2 transaction fee.

*Marine Board Permits are available in PDF format that can be downloaded or printed. These can be saved on your mobile device. ODFW permits are available for printing or as electronic permits in the MyODFW app on your mobile device.

(Video) Renewing a Single Motorboat Registration in the Boat Oregon Store

Online- You can purchase a one or two year permit at the Boat Oregon Store. Permits are valid for one calendar year and expire on December 31 of the year in which they were obtained.

*Be sure to purchase your permits early in the year to get the most out of them and download the PDF and print the permit or have it ready to use on your mobile device for maritime law enforcement to display.


*Note: ODFW charges an additional transaction fee of $2 and OSMB e-commerce portal provider charges an additional transaction fee of $1.50.

We encourage boaters to purchase from the Marine Board's Boat Oregon Store, the ODFW Electronic Licensing System, or the app.

Yes, but they are very limited and specific.

  • Non-motorized boats and floating toys less than 10 feet in length;
  • Federal, state, district and municipal ships used for official business;
  • A lifeboat of a ship designed solely to save lives;
  • seaplanes;
  • elementary groups; (Choice organizations are those that operate primarily as part of organized activities to teach youth Scouting, camping, seamanship, self-reliance, patriotism, courage, and related virtues.)Defined in ORS 830.790.​
  • Ssurfboards, windsurf boards and kite surfboards
  • A person/Vendor GuideOperating a boat on a federally designated wild and scenic river for which a separate fee system is in place.

No permits are required to access waterways on ODFW-free weekends/days. The dates of Free Fishing 2022 are:

  • February 18 and 19, 2023 (Saturday and Sunday), President's Day weekend
  • 3 and 4 June 2023 (Saturday and Sunday)
  • November 24 and 25, 2023 (Friday and Saturday), Thanksgiving weekend
  • Young people under the age of 13 are exempt and do not need a permit. When a youth turns 14, a permit is required.
  • Be sure to print a copy of your approval AND save it on your computer or mobile device.
  • Remember where you bought your permit. Permits are also sold through ODFW License Agents, the MyODFW app, andODFW Electronic Licensing System (ELS)).
  • If you lose your paper permit, digital copies are available in your OSMB or ODFW online account. Permits purchased from ODFW agents cannot be linked to an account and cannot be replaced if lost or damaged.
  • OSMB recommends purchasing through our Boat Oregon Store or through the ELS or ODFW app to access a replacement permit.
  • If a sailboat is between 10 and 11.9 feet long, the boater must obtain a waterway access permit.
  • Sailboats 11.9' and under do not need to register with the Marine BoardunlessYour sailboat has an auxiliary engine.
  • Sailboats 12 feet or larger are required to register and do not need to purchase a permit to access waterways. Fees are included in motor boat registrations.

if you are a...boat rental:

If you rent boats (motor or rowing boats) you have to register asBoat RentalBusinessand then order your WAPs via the Discounted WAP entitlements link in theOregonstore-Boot.

  • Go to the Boat Oregon Store, click Online Services in the top right corner of the screen and select Boat Rental Business Registration. You can also register with the Marine Board by email or in personthis form.
  • Non-motorised paint shops (rental companies) can aVolume discount on permitswhich must be purchased directly from the Oregon State Marine Board.

if you are a...vendor manual:

  • Login to the online store with your Guide account and click on the link for WAP DiscountedPermits. Discounts are available when purchasing more than 5 permits. You can also use therequest by post.
  • For outfitters and tour guides, the BLM and USFS require additional federal permits to conduct business on federally managed public lands. Where a trip requires special federal authorization, outfitters and guides are exempt from WAP requirements when operating on state-designated segments. Unless an Outfitterand Guide is exclusively active in these areas, a WAP is required.Learn more.

The reduced permit is simply a 1 page paper document that the owner guide or rental company can keep with other business records.

All chartered boats or boats used for boating activities must be trade name marked to meet the requirements.

(Video) Oregon State Marine Board's Quarterly Meeting -January 26, 2022
  • ​​YES. The USCG has determined that stand-up paddleboards are considered boats for the purposes of life jacket and noise-producing device requirements. Based on this regulation, and if the stand up paddle board is 10 feet or longer, the operator requires a permit.
  • Idaho boats with an Idaho Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention decal do not require an Oregon permit when operating in the mainstem of the Snake River.
  • Washington vessels do not require an Oregon Permit when navigating the mainstem of the Columbia River.
  • Vessels from Washington or Idaho may call at the Oregon tributaries within ONE RIME mile of the Columbia or Snake Rivers (common interstate waters) without a permit solely for the purpose of accessing the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
  • Other out-of-state powerboats must purchase an Invasive Aquatic Species Prevention Permit ($20). This permit is valid for one calendar year.
  • ​​No. Surfboard, windsurf and kiteboard operators are exempt from the need for a waterway access permit (OAR 250-010-0760)(2c).
  • No. Non-motorized boats do NOT need to be titled or registered.
  • Waterway access permits are transferrable to other non-motorized vessels. One permit per vessel when operating on the water.
  • Waterway access permits are not required for motor boats as fees are paid upon registration. However, permits are still required for the operation of non-motorized vessels even if the operator also owns a registered vessel.
  • All drift boats with auxiliary engines must be titled and registered. Motorboats like these do not need to obtain a permit to access waterways, as their two-year registration already makes them compliant with state laws.
(Video) Pumpout Stations in Oregon
  • Powerboats registered in Washington or Idaho do not need an Oregon-issued Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit to sail from Oregon on the Columbia River (Washington boaters) or Snake River (Idaho boaters) or tributaries within one mile of the Drive Columbia River or drive Snake Rivers to access it.
  • Power boaters in Washington and Idaho require an Alien Aquatic Invasive Species Permit when navigating Oregon waters including Reservoirs, Multnomah Canal, Willamette, Deschutes, John Day and other rivers.
  • Boaters in Washington pay a waterborne invasive species prevention surcharge when they register their motorboats in Washington.
  • Idaho has a similar permitting program to prevent waterborne invasive species. Idaho registered motorists have a permit on their boats.
  • No. Non-motorized permits are like a fishing license that the paddler must have with them when using the boat on the water.
  • ​​No. Motorboats have a registration sticker affixed to the bow of the motorboat which is not transferable to other watercraft. A separate permit must be purchased for paddle boats 10 feet or longer.
  • Out-of-state boaters who bring a motorized boat into the state and launch it in Oregon waters must obtain an out-of-state AIS permit. The permit costs $21.50 through theNaval Authority Boot OregonStore($20 permit plus $1.50 portal provider fee)
  • Permits can also be purchased through ODFW for $22 ($20 permit plus $2 transaction fee):

ODFW License Agents, y;

ODFW offices.

  • Not in the countrymotorizedAISpermit is NOT transferable to paddle boats.
  • IWhen the rowboat is in use, the operator must purchase and carry a waterway access permit (transferable to another rowboat).
  • ​​Yes, Oregon waters are defined from the shoreline to three miles offshore.


  1. Select the "Buy License" button.
  2. Click Buy License in the top rightOregon State Marine Board: Waterway Permitting FAQs: Information for Boaters: State of Oregon (3)
  3. User can login or use guest checkout (guest checkout is the gray box below).Oregon State Marine Board: Waterway Permitting FAQs: Information for Boaters: State of Oregon (4)
  4. Then scroll down to Guest Checkout where you can see your waterway access permissions.Oregon State Marine Board: Waterway Permitting FAQs: Information for Boaters: State of Oregon (5)
  5. Make your selection. Click Add if purchasing more than one permit.
  6. Click on the "shopping cart" icon and follow the transaction instructions.
  7. Print out your permits and carry them in a waterproof container or compartment. MAKE SURE YOU PRINT BEFORE CLOSE YOUR BROWSER WINDOW.
  8. ​​Remember which authority you bought the permit from. ODFW and OSMB will have different and unique identification numbers for law enforcement to verify compliance.

(Video) Oregon State Marine Board's Quarterly Meeting -July 28, 2022

Proceeds will be used to support waterway facility grants to state, local, parks organizations and tribal governments for the acquisition of land, leases or easements for public access to waterways and waterway construction and maintenance. Public agencies and nonprofits will also receive funding to develop safety education courses and purchase boating equipment to break down barriers for underserved communities wishing to offer recreational boating through other local programs.

View the story map for example boat access projects.

meet the greatsnautical installation projects underwaywith your approval dollars to increase access.

The non-motorized purchase options are:

1)One week permission.This permit is valid for 7 consecutive days and costs $7. Only available through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

2)Permission for one calendar yearfor $17 (expires December 31st of the year of purchase).

3)Permission for two calendar yearsfor $30 (expires December 31st of the year after sale).

Visit:Boat.Oregon.gov/tiendafor permits of one or two years. ODFW sells all three permitting options.

A portal provider fee of $1.50 is charged by the Boat Oregon Store for each transaction.If you are purchasing more than one waterway access permit please add them all to your shopping cart before checking out to avoid additional charges.You will be taken to a secure checkout page: https://securecheckout-uat.cdc.nicusa.com/.

Failure to show the permit is a Class D violation with a $115 fine.
The fees help fund the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention program and waterway access grants for non-motorized boatingInstitutions support projects.


Know before you go

equipment to go
All about life jackets
Tips for safe paddling

Oregon State Marine Board: Waterway Permitting FAQs: Information for Boaters: State of Oregon (6)Oregon State Marine Board: Waterway Permitting FAQs: Information for Boaters: State of Oregon (7)


Do you need a waterway access permit in Oregon? ›

Waterway Access Permits are required for boats 10 feet and longer.

What is a waterway access permit in Oregon? ›

Oregon residents and out-of-state operators of non-motorized boats, i.e. canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, rafts, drift boats and other manually powered boats, which are 10 feet in length or longer must carry a Waterway Access Permit when paddling on Oregon waters.

How much is a waterway permit in Oregon? ›

Three permit purchasing options are available through ODFW's electronic licensing system (ELS), MyODFW app or any ODFW licensed agent: ​A one week permit (valid for 7 consecutive days of your choice) for $7. One year permit for $19. Two year permit for $32 ​​

What must you obtain before you can register your boat with the Oregon State Marine Board? ›

1) Complete and sign an application for boat title/registration (mark "amphibious" for the vessel type). 2) Obtain the previous ownership document with releases from all previous owner(s). 3) Submit documents to the Marine Board with the $75.00 title fee and $6.00 registration fee (total = $81).

How much is the fine for not having a waterways Licence? ›

What if I don't have a waterways licence? You can be fined up to £1,000 if you're caught on an inland waterway and the following applies.

Why do I need a waterways Licence? ›

And what happens if you don't have one? Having a licence is not like passing your driving test, it is essentially a permit to paddle on privately owned, managed waterways such as rivers and canals overseen by the Environment Agency, Canal & River Trust and other private bodies.

Which of the following is required to operate a boat in Oregon? ›

Oregon law requires all motorized boat and PWC operators who are at least 16 years old and will be operating a boat over 10 hp to pass a boater safety course and to carry a boater education card.

Can you have a open container on a boat in Oregon? ›

Under Oregon boating laws, boaters are allowed to drink alcohol if they otherwise are legal to drink, and they may also have open containers of alcohol on board. However, they are not allowed to be intoxicated while operating a boat — and that includes being one of several paddlers on a raft, according to the law.

Does Oregon require a boating license? ›

A person 16 or older will need a boating education card to operate a powerboat (including a PWC) greater than 10 hp. Have questions?

What size boat needs a license in Oregon? ›

All Motorboats and Sailboats 12' and Longer

Operators must carry a valid boat registration card (Certificate of Number) on Board. The boat registration number (e.g. OR 123 ABC) and registration stickers belong on the right and left sides of the front of the boat.

What size boat needs registration in Oregon? ›

In Oregon, you must title and register your boat if it has any type of motor—electric, gas, or diesel—no matter the length of the boat. Exceptions include: Non-motorized boats. Sailboats less than 12 feet in length.

Do you need a permit for a pond in Oregon? ›

Under Oregon Law, all water belongs to the public. With few exceptions, any person wishing to take and use surface water or groundwater must first obtain a permit from the Water Resources Department. The water right, once developed, is a type of property right and is attached to the land where it was established.

Do you have to wear a life jacket on a boat in Oregon? ›

Anyone operating OR riding a personal watercraft must wear a Type I, II or III life jacket (not Type V).

Do you need a logbook for a boat? ›

A sailing logbook is important evidence of your accrued sea time and miles. A sailing logbook will prove your experience if you would like to charter a yacht, or enrol on another certification course. It's like a boating passport!

Is a Certificate of Documentation for a boat the same as a title? ›

Documentation is a form of registration through the US Coast Guard. This is a title for the vessel on the national (federal) level, as opposed to state titling. The Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation Center grants Certificates of Documentation to eligible vessels.

What happens if you don't have a waterways licence? ›

Do I need to carry a waterways licence? You will need to carry proof of your licence with you when you paddle to avoid a fine when paddling on inland waterways that need a licence. If you don't have proof when you're asked to produce a licence, you could face a hefty fine.

What is a waterways licence? ›

A British Canoeing 'waterways licence' gives you access to 5,000 miles of inland waterways, including our canals and rivers. It also gives you access to the waterways managed by the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority.

Do I need a river licence for an inflatable kayak? ›

If you're paddling on the sea, estuaries or tidal water you will not require a waterways licence. If you are heading to the sea we would highly recommend you read our Tips For Beginners Paddling On The Sea and Reading The Weather articles, especially as inflatable kayaks are often more susceptible to sea conditions.

Do I need a license to paddle board on a river? ›

Yes, the use of a paddleboard, or any other portable, unpowered craft on the majority of inland waterways, requires a license obtainable from the relevant authority. On Regent's Canal, there are two license options: Short term or 30-days explorers' license from the Canal and River Trust.

Can you paddle board on canals? ›

Yes, you do need a licence to use a paddleboard on a canal. If you try stand-up paddleboarding with a club, they will arrange the licence for you. If you want to go on your own, have a look at our short term licences.

Can you use a kayak anywhere? ›

To get to the water, you have a legal right to carry your kayak along any public highway such as a public road or footpath. You may have a legal right to carry kayaks over private land to get to the beach, even if there is no footpath, but don't expect the landowner to be happy about it.

Can you sleep on your boat in Oregon? ›

Location: Boat must be in an authorized location. Live-aboard boats should stay in marinas or other authorized moorages Boats left on public or private property without authorization are abandoned and may be seized if not moved to an authorized location.

What does the Coast Guard require you to have on a boat? ›

All recreational vessels must carry one USCG-approved lifejacket (Type I, II, III or V) for each person aboard and that includes specifically fitted personal floatation devices (PFDs) for children. All kids 12 and younger must wear a PFD on a moving vessel.

What is the penalty for open container law in Oregon? ›

Open Container: Drinking alcohol or having an open bottle in a vehicle is prohibited. You must store any open containers of alcohol in the trunk or some other area not normally occupied by the driver or passengers. Penalty: Maximum fine of $250.

Can I live on a boat in open water? ›

Is it legal to live on a boat? It is, provided you get the right mooring. If you already have a leisure mooring for your boat, you'll be allowed to spend holidays and weekends onboard, but can't live there full-time. To make your boat your home you'll need to find a residential mooring.

How loud can I boat be in Oregon? ›

A person shall operate a motorboat on the waters of this state in such a manner that does not exceed the following noise level: (a) For engines manufactured before January 1, 1993, a maximum noise level of 90 dBA when subjected to a stationary test; (b) For engines manufactured after January 1, 1993, a maximum noise ...

Does an Oregon boaters license expire? ›

Oregon Boating Education Card (also known as the Oregon boating license or boaters license) is proof that you have met the mandatory boat safety education requirements for the State of Oregon. The Oregon Boating Education Card is good for life and does not need to be renewed.

What is the no wake law in Oregon? ›

State law also requires a maximum slow-no-wake speed within 200 feet of a swimmer, surfer, shoreline angler, diving flag or location where people are working at the water level. That limit also applies within 200 feet of a dock, launch ramp, marina or moorage, floating home or boathouse, pier or swim float.

How long does it take to get an Oregon boaters license? ›

The Marine Board will send you the card within 2-3 weeks from the date you passed and paid for the course and card. The Certificate of Completion acts as a temporary for 30 days, so print and carry it with you. Boat Ed's friendly U.S.-based customer service pros can answer any question—fast!

What is the largest boat you can operate without a captains license? ›

When Do I Need a Captain's License? The USCG license isn't always required. If you are wondering, “What length of boat requires a captain's license?” The answer is this: If your vessel is less than 26 feet in length and doesn't require a mate, then you may be exempt from having a captain's license.

Can you drink alcohol while boating in Oregon? ›

The law applies to all boats, motorized and non-motorized, which includes rafts, kayaks, and canoes. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% is considered legally “under the influence.” • Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is a crime in Oregon.

What does a boat less than 20 feet must have? ›

Federal law mandates that boats of less than 20 feet in length must have a capacity plate in the steering or helm area.

What object is required on a 15 foot boat? ›

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

One approved Type I, II or III for each person on board or being towed on water skis etc. NOTE: A Type V hybrid may substituted for any Type I, II, or III device, but must be worn whenever the vessel is underway and the person is not in the cabin or other enclosed area.

Do boats over 20 feet need a capacity plate? ›

Boats less than 20 feet must have a federally-mandated capacity plate. However, all boats less than 26 feet must have a plate to be certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)—the marine industry's trade association that maintains boat and trailer certification programs.

What size boat requires a capacity plate? ›

Federal law requires single-hull boats less than 20 feet in length to have a capacity plate. (However, PWC and sailboat manufacturers are not required to attach a capacity plate.)

What requires a permit in Oregon? ›

Permits are required for all new construction as well as for specific alterations to existing homes, which include structural, plumbing, mechanical and electrical changes. The person performing the work, whether it is a homeowner or contractor, is responsible for obtaining all necessary permits.

Are creeks public property in Oregon? ›

A big reason: for many rivers and creeks, there are no state laws. Twelve of the largest rivers, including the Willamette and Columbia, are deemed "navigable" — making them state-owned and generally open to the public. Streams that are "tidally influenced" or on public land are also generally open.

Do you have to register a raft in Oregon? ›

Permit required

*This includes kayaks, canoes, rafts and other inflatables, stand-up paddle boards, etc. Permit fees help fund the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program and a new Oregon State Marine Board Waterway Access Account for the development of non-motorized boating facilities.

What trails require permits Oregon? ›

  • Broken Top Crater Trailhead.
  • Scott Trailhead.
  • Lava Camp Lake Trailhead.
  • Obsidian Trailhead.
  • Devils Lake/South Sister Trailhead.
  • Devils Lake Trailhead.
  • Wickiup Plains Trailhead.
  • Green Lakes Trailhead.
Mar 27, 2022

Do you need a permit to replace windows in Oregon? ›

In Portland, for example, a window replacement project can be carried out without a permit when the same window size will be used. If you are adding a new window, however, or widening or reducing the size of an existing opening, you will need a window replacement permit.

How big of a shed can I build in Oregon without a permit? ›

Sheds or Accessory Structures - A building permit is not required for a shed under 200 square feet and 10 feet in height that meets lot coverage and setbacks.

How much does a permit cost in Oregon? ›

Original Applications
Permit - Probationary (non-refundable)​$50.00
Identification Card​$44.50
Instruction Permit - Class C Driver License (non-commercial) (valid for 2 years) ​$23.00
Instruction Permit - Motorcycle (valid for 1 year)​$23.00
7 more rows

Who owns creeks in Oregon? ›

The Department of State Lands is responsible for management of publicly owned submerged and submersible land. The public has rights to use the beds and banks of navigable waterways for any legal activity, such as boating, fishing and swimming, including pulling your canoe or kayak onto the bank.

How wide can creeks be? ›

A stream is slightly larger than a branch and can still often be called a creek by folks. Technically, if it is less than 60 feet wide, it can be called a stream. However, most of the time people call smaller flowing water streams.

Can I dig a pond on my property in Oregon? ›

Under Oregon Law, all water belongs to the public. With few exceptions, any person wishing to take and use surface water or groundwater must first obtain a permit from the Water Resources Department. The water right, once developed, is a type of property right and is attached to the land where it was established.

Can you drink on a kayak in Oregon? ›

Yes, you can get a DUI on a kayak in Oregon. It is against the law to operate a vessel of any kind, motorized or not, while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. You can get the equivalent of a DUI, a BUI (Boating Under the Influence) in Oregon with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08%.

What is required to operate a boat in Oregon? ›

Oregon law requires all motorized boat and PWC operators who are at least 16 years old and will be operating a boat over 10 hp to pass a boater safety course and to carry a boater education card.

What is required to be installed on a recreational boat in Oregon? ›

The Oregon State Marine Board requires at least one throwable U.S. Coast Guard approved Type IV device (ring buoy OR cushion) on a boat 16 feet or more in length, in ADDITION to a properly fitting, wearable US Coast Guard approved life jacket required for each person onboard all boats.

How many trip permits are you allowed in Oregon? ›

You can only buy two permits for the same vehicle in a 12-month period.

Do you need a permit for the Oregon Coast trail? ›

Hikers don't need a permit. However, if you park a car at Oregon State Park or a US Forest Service trailheads, you may need to make reservations to get a permit.

Do you need a permit for the Lost Coast trail? ›

Overnight camping along the Lost Coast Trail requires a Backcountry Permit. Permits can be obtained through Recreation.gov, on the King Range Wilderness Permits (Lost Coast) page. No walkup permits are available. Allow at least three days for the entire hike.


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