Who needs to carry a permit
Paddlecraft (SUPs, rafts, drift boats, kayaks, canoes, etc.) 10 feet long and longer will need to carry one permit per boat when in use.
Where do I purchase permits?
Waterway Access Permits can be purchased online through the Marine Board's Boat Oregon Store or ODFW's e-licensing system.
Online - Visit our Boat Oregon Store and print a temporary permit that you can use right away. You can also download the PDF and have it ready to display on your mobile device for marine law enforcement.
*Note: ODFW charges an additional $2 transaction fee
Yes, but they're very limited and specific.
- Non-motorized boats and float toys under 10 feet in length;
- Federal, state, county and municipality-owned watercraft used for official business;
- A ship's lifeboat used solely for lifesaving purposes;
- Eleemosynary groups; (Eleemosynary organizations are those which are operated primarily as a part of organized activities for the purpose of teaching youths scout craft, camping, seamanship, self-reliance, patriotism, courage and kindred virtues). Defined in ORS 830.790.
- Surfboards, sailboards and kiteboards.
- A person operating a boat on a federally designated wild and scenic river for which
a separate fee system is in place
- Youth 13 or younger are not required to carry a permit. When a youth turns 14, then a permit is required.
What about sailboats under 12 feet?
- If a sailboat is between 10 and 11 feet, the boater will also need a to purchase a Waterway Access Permit.
- Sailboats 12' and under are not required to register with the Marine Board unless their sailboat has an auxiliary motor. Fees are included in motorboat registrations.
What about Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUP's). Do they need a permit?
- YES. The USCG determined that stand-up paddle boards are considered boats for the purpose of life jacket and sound producing device requirements. Based on this determination, and if the stand-up paddle board is 10 feet or longer, the operator would need to have a permit.
What about boats from Washington or Idaho?
- Boats from Idaho that have an Idaho Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention sticker do not need an Oregon permit if boating within the mainstem of the Snake River.
- Boats from Washington do not need an Oregon permit if boating within the mainstem of the Columbia River.
- Boats from Washington or Idaho may launch in Oregon tributaries within ONE RIVER MILE of the Columbia or Snake rivers (common interstate boundary waters) without a permit, only for the purposes of accessing the Columbia and Snake rivers.
- Other out-of-state motorboats are required to purchase an aquatic invasive species prevention permit ($20). This permit is valid for one calendar year.
What about drift boats with auxiliary motors?
- If a drift boat is currently registered with the Marine Board, the registration fee is in lieu of the Waterway Access Permit.
- If the drift boat is not registered and does not have an auxiliary motor and is 10' and longer, then the operator would need to have a Waterway Access Permit.
What about motorized boats in multi-jurisdictional waters like the Columbia and Snake rivers?
- Motorboats registered in Washington or Idaho do not need an Oregon-issued Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit to operate or launch from Oregon into the Columbia River (Washington boaters ) or Snake River (Idaho boaters), or tributaries within ONE RIVER MILE of the Columbia and Snake Rivers for the purposes of accessing them.
- Washington and Idaho motorized boaters need a non-resident Aquatic Invasive Species permit when boating in Oregon's state waters including reservoirs, the Multnomah Channel, the Willamette, Deschutes, John Day and other rivers.
- Washington boaters pay a surcharge for aquatic invasive species prevention when they register their motorboats in Washington.
- Idaho has a similar Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit program. Registered motorboaters from Idaho have a permit affixed to their boats.
- Washington or Idaho paddlers with boats 10' and longer will need to purchase a Waterway Access Permit.
What if an out-of-state visitor also wants to use a paddlecraft?
- The out-of-state motorized permit is NOT transferrable to paddlecraft.
- If the paddlecraft is in use, then the operator will need to purchase and carry a Waterway Access Permit, (which is transferrable to other paddlecraft).
- Ocean-going recreational boats.
How to purchase a printable Non-Motorized Waterway Access Permit from ODFW’s Electronic Licensing System?
- Go to myodfw.com
- Select the “Buy a License" tab
- Create an account if you haven't purchased a license or permit before in the ODFW system.
- Another option is to scroll down and select the gray button that says, “Shop for Products that Don't Require an Account"
- Select the drop down arrow in the right hand corner of the Product Categories.
- Select “Permits."
- Click the “Add" button for Non-Motorized Waterway Access Permit.
- Click the button multiple times for more than one permit.
- Click on the “cart" icon and follow the transaction prompts.
- Print your permits and carry them in a water-secure container or compartment. BE SURE TO PRINT BEFORE CLOSING THE BROWSER WINDOW. There is no way to recover the permit.
Remember which agency you purchased the permit from. ODFW and OSMB will have different and unique identifing numbers for law enforcement checking for compliance.
What am I getting for my money?
Revenue will be used to support boating facility grants for state, local governments, park organizations and tribal governments for the acquisition of property, leases, or easements in order for the public to access waterways and construction and maintenance of boating access facilities. Funds will also be available for public bodies and non-profit entities to develop safety education courses and to purchase boating equipment to reduce barriers for underserved communities who wish to offer recreational boating through other local programs.
View the story map with examples of boating access projects.
Pull the Plug Law -Effective January 1, 2020
- Boaters will be required to “pull the plug" when leaving a waterbody and during transport to allow any water-holding compartments to drain (transporting live crab or fish is against the law per ODFW regulations).
- The fine for failure to pull the plug is $30 for non-motorized and $50 for motorized and is a Class D violation.
If a person bypasses a mandatory boat inspection station, they can be ordered back by law enforcement if the station is within 5 miles. If a person fails to go back to the station for an inspection/decontamination, they can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor ($1,250 and or 30 days in jail).
Enforcement and Fines
Boaters who operate a non-motorized boat 10 feet or more in length without Waterway Access Permit permit will be fined $30 and motorboats, $50 (in addition to not having valid OR numbers displayed on the motorboat). Prohibits court from imposing additional assessment or surcharge.
SECTION 1. ORS 830.990: Violation of ORS 830.565 by a person operating a manually propelled boat is punishable by a fine of $30, and violation of ORS 830.565 by a person operating a motorboat is punishable by a fine of $50. A court may not impose the unitary assessment provided for in ORS 137.290, the assessment provided for in ORS 137.309, or any other additional assessment or surcharge, for a violation of ORS 830.565.
Mandatory Boat Inspections
All Boaters are REQUIRED to Stop if Inspection Station is Open
Inspection teams are made up of specially trained personnel employed with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. ALL boaters are required to stop at designated roadside inspection stations.
Inspection teams will look inside and outside boats (including kayaks and canoes mounted on vehicle racks) for invasive species.
Any area that is capable of storing water for extended periods of time will be inspected.
If a motorized boat is deemed "clean," a member of the inspection team will affix a special zip tie around the bow of the boat and the trailer winch. This is proof the boat passed inspection and is clean for launching. Once the boat is launched, the zip tie will break away from the winch. Boaters are asked to pick up the remnants and properly discard them in the trash or plastic recycle container at the launch ramp.
Inspections take approximately 10 minutes. If a boat is contaminated with invasive species, the inspection team will decontaminate the craft on-site. This could take anywhere between 20 minutes to 1 hour.
Inspectors will also spend time educating the boater about properly cleaning, draining and drying their craft before launching into Oregon waterways.
Inspection stations are set up for the current recreational boating season at the points of entry into Oregon and will also be set up at random locations. Failure to stop at an inspection station could result in a $110 fine.
SECTION 1. ORS 570.855 is amended to read:
570.855 (1) The State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Marine Board and the State Department of Agriculture may require a person operating or transporting a recreational or commercial watercraft to stop at a check station for the purpose of inspecting the watercraft for the presence of aquatic invasive species:
[(b)] (2) The Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Marine Board and the State Department of Agriculture may decontaminate, or recommend decontamination of. any recreational or commercial watercraft that is inspected at a check station operated under the authority of this section.
[(2)] (3) All check stations operated under authority of this section must be plainly marked by signs that comply with all state and federal laws and must be staffed by at least one uniformed employee of the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Marine Board or the State Department of Agriculture trained in inspection and decontamination of recreational or commercial watercraft.