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Waterway Access Permit FAQs

Paddler with a yellow life jacket and paddle in a yellow kayak

​The Marine Board offers three permit purchasing options through our Boat Oregon Store:

  • ​A 7-Day (one week) permit, for $6.50
  • A one year permit, valid for the current calendar year (expires December 31) for $18.50 and;
  • A two year permit, valid for the current and next calendar years (expires December 31 of the year after purchased) for $31.50.
  • ​The permit prices includes a $1.50 portal provider fee. 

All three permit purchasing options are also 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 ​​
  • These permit prices include ODFW's $2 transaction fee.​

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

Online - You can purchase a 7-day, one OR two-year permit from the Boat Oregon Store. The annual permits are valid for a calendar year and expire on December 31st of the year purchased. 

*Be sure to purchase your permits early in the year to get your maximum use and to download the PDF and print the permit or have it ready to display on your mobile device for marine law enforcement​. ​​

OR  

*Note: ODFW charges an additional $2 transaction fee and OSMB's eCommerce portal provider will be charging an additional $1.50 portal provider fee. If purchasing multiple permits in the Boat Oregon Store, order the total quantity in one transaction to avoid any additional portal provider fees.

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

​The 7 day permits are available in quantities up to 500, on one certificate. The certificate generated will show how many permits were purchased with the start date and expiration date. The permits are valid for the 7 days starting the date of purchase from the Boat Oregon Store.


Paddlecraft (SUPs, rafts, drift boats, kayaks, canoes, etc.) 10 feet long and longer will need to purchase and be able to digitally display (or have a print copy), one permit per boat, when in use. 

Paddlers' needs for access vary from trailered motorboats. More single car spaces, staging areas, and low-freeboard docks with safe paddle launches. That's what permit fees will pay for at developed sites, and will also help pay for new access! For mixed-use sites, facility designs will aim to separate motorized and nonmotorized for more efficient launching and retrieving. 

Permits are transferrable to other paddlecraft and youths 13 and younger do not need a permit. 

​Revenue is awarded as boating facility grants to 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 nonprofit 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.  

The Marine Board is a self-supporting agency and does not receive any state general funds. Here's a breakdown of the current biennium: Business Services/Fiscal Information.​

​Yes, but they're very limited and specific.

  • Nonmotorized 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;
  • Seaplanes;
  • 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/outfitter guides operating a boat on a federally designated wild and scenic river for which a separate fee system is in place.​
Waterway Access Permits will not be required on ODFW-designated Free Fishing Weekends/Days. The final 2024 Free Fishing dates are:
  • November 29-30, 2024 (Friday & Saturday), Thanksgiving Weekend

  • Youth 13 or younger are exempt and are not required have a permit. When a youth turns 14, then a permit is required.

  • Be sure to print out a copy of your permit AND save it to your computer or mobile device.
  • Remember where you purchased your permit. Permits are also sold through ODFW license agents, the MyODFW app, and ODFW's electronic licensing system (ELS). 
  • If you lose your printed permit, digital copies are available in your OSMB or ODFW online account. Permits purchased from ODFW agents may not be linked to an account and cannot be replaced, if lost or damaged.
  • OSMB recommends purchasing through our Boat Oregon Store or through ODFW's ELS or app so you can access your permit through your account. 

  • ​If a sailboat is between 10 and 11.9 feet, the boater will need a purchase a Waterway Access Permit.
  • Sailboats 11.9' and under are not required to register with the Marine Board unless their sailboat has an auxiliary motor.
  • Sailboats 12' and over are required to register, and do not need to purchase a Waterway Access Permit. Fees are included in motorboat registrations.

If you're a Boat Rental Business:

If you rent boats (motorized or paddlecraft), you are required to register as a Boat Rental Business, and then order your WAPs using the WAP Discounted Permits link in the Boat Oregon stor​e.​

  • Go to the Boat Oregon Store, click "Online Services" from the top, right-hand portion of the screen, and select "Boat Rental Business Registration." You can also register via mail or in person at the Marine Board with this form.
  • ​​Nonmotorized liveries (rental businesses) can receive a quantity discount on permits​ which must be purchased directly from the Oregon State Marine Board.

If you're an Outfitter Guide​:

  • ​Log into the online store with your guide account, and click on the link for WAP Discounted Permits.  Discounts are available for purchases of more than 5 permits. You can also use the mail-in application.
  • For Outfitters and Guides, additional federal permits are required by the BLM and USFS to conduct business on federally managed public lands. If a special federal permit is required for a trip, Outfitters and Guides are exempt from WAP requirements when operating on federally designated stretches. Unless an Outfitter and Guide operates exclusively in those sections, a WAP is required. Learn more.

The discounted permit is simply a printed 1-page document for the outfitter guide or rental business to keep with other business records. 

All rented boats or boats used for outfitter guiding activities must labeled with the business name in order to be compliant.​

  • ​​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.

  • ​​No. Operators of surfboards, sailboards, and kiteboards are exempt from needing a Waterway Access Permit (OAR 250-010-0760)(2c).

  • ​​No.  Nonmotorized boats are NOT required to be titled or registered.
  • Waterway Access Permits are transferrable to other nonmotorized boats. One permit per boat when operating on the water.

  • Waterway Access Permits are not required for motorized boats since aquatic invasive species prevention fees are a component of registration. However, permits are still required when a motorboat owner also owns and operating nonmotorized boats. ​

  • 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 motorboat owners who bring a motorized boat into the state and launch in Oregon's waters are required to purchase an out-of-state AIS Permit. 

  • ​All drift boats with auxiliary motors are required to be titled and registered. Motorized boats such as these are not required to purchase a Waterway Access Permit because their 2-year registration already makes them compliant with state law​. 

  • 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 nonresident 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. 


  • ​No.  Nonmotorized permits are like a fishing license that the paddler needs to have with them when using the boat on the water. 

  • ​​No.  Motorized boats have a registration decal that adheres to the bow of the motor boat -and are not transferrable to other watercraft.  A separate permit needs to be purchased for paddlecraft 10 feet long and longer.

  • The out-of-state motorized AIS 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).


  • Out-of-state motor boaters who bring a motorized boat into the state and launch in Oregon's waters are required to purchase an out-of-state AIS Permit. The permit costs $21.50 through the Marine Board's Boat Oregon Store ($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​, and;

ODFW offices.​


  • ​​Yes. Oregon waters are defined as from the coastal shoreline to three miles out to sea.  


​Go to myodfw.com​

  1. Select the “Buy a License" button.
  2. Click on Buy a license in top right corner​ 
  3. The user can either Login or use the Guest Checkout (the guest checkout is the grey box at the bottom). 
  4. Then scroll to the bottom to "Guest Checkout" where you can see the Waterway Access permits.​
  5.  Make your selection.  Click "add" if purchasing more than one permit. 
  6. Click on the “cart" icon and follow the transaction prompts.
  7. Print your permits and carry them in a water-secure container or compartment.  BE SURE TO PRINT BEFORE CLOSING THE BROWSER WINDOW.
  8. ​​Remember which agency you purchased the permit from. ODFW and OSMB will have different and unique identifying numbers for law enforcement checking for compliance.​.


 

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Nonmotorized Purchasing options are: 

1) One-week permit. This permit is good for 7 days in a row and costs $5 from the Boat Oregon Store. The 7-day permit is also available through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

2) One calendar year permit for $17 (expires on December 31 of the year purchased).

3) Two calendar year permits for $30 (expires on December 31 of the year after the sale). 

Need help getting started using the Boat Oregon Store? 

There is a $1.50 portal provider fee for online transactions. If you're purchasing more than one Waterway Access Permit, make sure to add all to your cart before checkout to avoid extra charges.  You will go 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.

Fees help fund the aquatic invasive species prevention program and waterway access grants for non-motorized boating facility grant projects. Grants are also awarded to nonprofit organizations for boating safety education and equipment for programs in underserved communities.

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