During even-numbered years, Marine Board staff propose legislative concepts to its five-member Board based on feedback from stakeholders, and partners, to improve recreational boating laws and services. Legislative concepts approved by the Marine Board are submitted to the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). After review from DAS, legislative concepts are forwarded to the Governor's Office for consideration. If legislative concepts are approved by the Governor's Office, they move to Legislative Counsel to be drafted into bills. The Marine Board and the Governor give a final review after the bills are drafted to determine what moves forward for legislative consideration.
The agency met with stakeholders after hosting four open houses around the state to gather feedback on the concepts (scroll down the page to the right to see when and where the open house took place).
The agency asked for the following concepts to be considered by the Board and the Governor, which were approved in December 2018:
Waterway Access Account: Creates a dedicated account to increase waterway access to all of Oregon’s waterways. The permit that funds this account would be required on all boats 10’ and over except motorboats and sailboats with valid registration decals. This is identical to the current requirement for non-motorized boats to carry the Aquatic Invasive Species Permit (AIS permit), and in this concept, the Waterway Access Permit would replace the AIS permit for non-motorized boats. Permits would be transferable to other non-motorized boats and children under 14 would not need a permit. 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 would 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 recreate on Oregon’s waterways.
Aquatic Invasive Species: Gives law enforcement the authority to require drivers who by-pass an open inspection station to return to the station for inspection/decontamination. Requires boaters to “pull the plug” after retrieving their boat and before transporting the boat over land.
Livery Program: Requires boat liveries (boat rental businesses) to register with the Marine Board. Businesses will provide basic information about the business and types of boats they rent. The information will be used for outreach and education in an effort to reduce accidents and fatalities. Failure to register would be a Class B violation ($265).
Boater Education Card: Requires all people to complete an approved boating safety course as defined in ORS 830.084 prior to operating a boat with a motor greater than 10 hp and remove the 60-day exemption for people who purchase a new or used boat. Out-of-state visitors would be required to complete the level of education required in their home state of registration. Additionally, commercial fishing licenses would no longer be an exemption from the boater education requirements when operating recreationally.
Boating Safety Laws: Enables courts and the Marine Board to suspend the Boater Education Card for convictions for BUII for one to three years and enables suspension of the boater education card for one year for a conviction of reckless boating. Updates the language for reckless boating to the standard used in the motor vehicle code. Changes fine for not carrying a life jacket from a B violation ($265) to a D violation ($115).
Boating Related Services, Program Fees. Registration fees would increase from $4.50 per foot to $5.95 per foot, a 33% increase (or $1.45 per foot). The fee increase would be implemented in 2020, or five years since last fee increase (2015). New title and title transfer fees would increase from $50 to $75. Increases fees for boater education card from $10 to $20 and a replacement boater education card from $8 to $16. These fees have remained the same for nearly two decades.
Once a legislative concept becomes a bill, it follows this process: