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Oregon Boating Laws

Boating Laws Recently Enacted (2010-Present)

Lower Willamette River Wake Enhancing Device Ban 
As of January 1, 2010 a "wake enhancing device ban" will take effect for the lower Willamette River:
Location: Willamette River between Newberg and Canby
Adopted: September 2008
Rule Summary: beginning January 1, 2010 -Slow-no-wake within 100’ of private structures and no wake-enhancing devices.
Background: This rule was adopted to address wake-related property damage on this narrow stretch of the Willamette River.
OAR 250-020-0032 Boat Operations:
(5) On the Willamette River from the Hwy 219 Bridge at RM 48.5 to the upper end of Willow Island at RM 31.5, the following rules apply:
   (a) No person shall operate a motorboat at a speed in excess of a "Slow - No Wake" maximum 5 mph speed within 100 feet of private docks, boathouses or moorages legally permitted by the Oregon Department of State Lands.
   (b) Beginning January 1, 2010, no person shall use wake-enhancing devices, including ballast tanks, wedges or hydrofoils or other mechanical devices, or un-even loading of persons or gear, to artificially operate bow-high.

Class III Rapids PFD Law -Establish Life Jacket Wear Requirements (HB 2079) 
As of January 1, 2010 boaters operating in Class III or higher white water rapids must wear an approved U.S. Coast Guard Type I, III or V personal flotation device that is suitable for use on whitewater rivers. 
Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit Program (HB 2220, HB 2583, & HB 3399)
The Oregon State Marine Board and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are implementing the new Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program, which will include education, outreach, boat inspections and decontamination of infested boats to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.   Under HB 2220, boaters purchase a permit to fund the new program.  Under HB 2583, boats with aquatic species on the hull, motor, or trailer are prohibited from launching into the waters of the state.  In 2011, HB 3399 was passed, which allows the State Marine Board, Department of Fish and Wildlife, law enforcement and other trained personnel to inspect all trailered boats entering Oregon.  Mandatory inspection stations operate near Oregon's borders and all boats are required to stop for inspection.  For more information about the aquatic invasive species prevention program, click here. 

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Boating Rules & Regulations in Oregon

Oregon Boating Regulations
Speed limits, motor restrictions and other regulations are in place on all Oregon waterways. It pays to know the regulations before you go - some small lakes are managed for manually powered craft only, and certain rivers allow motorboats only on certain days. Click links below for more information:
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Law Enforcement Directory & Program

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Fines & Bail Schedule

This is a summary of fines for violation of Oregon boating laws.
Click here to view the bail schedule for 2011 that includes all boating violations with costs.
HB 2287 Enacted: July 1, 2009
SECTION 2.  (1)  In all cases of conviction for the commission of a crime or violation, excluding parking violations, the trial court, whether a circuit, justice or municipal court, shall impose upon the defendant, in addition to any fine, cost or other monetary obligation imposed, an offense surcharge under this section.  Except when the person successfully asserts the defense set forth in ORS 419C.522, the offense surcharge shall also be imposed by the circuit court and county court in juvenile cases under ORS 419C.005 (1)  The offense surcharge is a penal obligation in the nature of a fine and shall be in an amount as follows:
    (a)  $35 in the case of a felony.
    (b)  $35 in the case of a misdemeanor.
    (c)  $45 in the case of a violation as described in ORS 153.008.
(2)  A court may waive all or part of the offense surcharge required by this section only if the court imposes no fine on the defendant.
(3)  The offense surcharge required by this section shall be imposed only for offenses that are committed on or after October 1, 2009, and before July 1, 2011.

Class A Misdemeanors: $6,295 maximum
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude
  • Reckless operation
  • Operating while under the influence
  • Ocean charter vessel violation
  • Duties of operator at accident
  • False information prohibited
  • Boat/equipment identification removed
  • Operate boat in violation of court order
  • False certification.

Class B Misdemeanors: $2,545 maximum.
  • Guide/outfitter violations
  • Especially hazardous condition
  • Ocean charter vessel violation.

Class A Violation: $472 for basic violation; $544 for accident, injury or risk.
  • Unsafe operation
  • Ocean charter vessel equip. violation

Class B Violation: $287 basic violation; $323 for accident, injury or risk.
  • Speeding
  • Motors prohibited
  • Speed restrictions
  • Operating improperly equipped boat
  • Personal flotation devices
  • Carburetors
  • Lights
  • Muffling devices
  • Operating in violation of chapter
  • Reckless operation
  • Proper lookout
  • Operational rules between boats
  • Traffic laws
  • Testing racing motorboat;
  • Overloading
  • Riding on decks/gunwales
  • Waterskiing (BUII)
  • Mooring to buoys/beacons
  • Livery operator provide properly equipped boat
  • Minimum equipment requirements for rental or charter boats; inspections cancellation or revocation of certificate for failure to comply.
  • Report of accident
  • Operation without certificates of registration (documented vessels)
  • Validation stickers
  • Dealer number

Class C Violation: $190 non-accident violation; $215 accident.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Ventilation system
  • Safety devices in tidewater
  • Additional equipment
  • Marine event
  • Duties of witness at accident
  • Accident report required
  • Boat number application
  • Number awarded by US Government or another state
  • HIN required

Class D Violation: $142 non-accident violation; $154 accident.
  • Reporting lost boat
  • Operation of motorboat by person 12-15 years of age
  • Operation of motorboat by person 16 years of age or older
  • Exemption from requirement to obtain boating safety education card
  • Boating safety education certificate required to operate motorboat
  • Sound signaling devices
  • Livery records
  • Report of transfer, abandonment
  • Cancellation of title upon scrapping
  • Certificate of number required aboard
  • Identifying number on boat
  • Certificate of Title
  • Identifying number required (floating homes/boathouse)
  • Floating home/boathouse identifying number, fee registration
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