Aquatic Invasive Species Boat Permits

All boats are required to have a valid permit when launching and while operating on Lake Whatcom or Lake Samish. Resident boats will need to have an annual permit to remain on the lake throughout the season.

If you need to get your vessel inspected and permitted OR if your vessel is returning from out of the area and needs to be re-inspected, please call (360) 778-7975 to schedule an on-site appointment. Please call in advance as we have limited staff available for on-site appointments.

If you have paid online, please provide your name to an inspector when you arrive at the check station so they can look up your payment. You will receive your Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) permit after passing the inspection.

Boating and Watercraft Permits Available for Purchase

Visit the Whatcom Boat Inspection’s Square Site to purchase a permit.

  • Annual Registered Permits: $60
  • Annual Small Vessel Motorized Permits: $30
  • 3-Day Pass: $20
  • 1-Day Pass: $10
  • Hand-carried boats like canoes, kayaks, and rowboats: $10

Get $10 Off Your 2023 Annual AIS Boating Permit

During the pandemic, the City of Bellingham offered financial relief for the Whatcom Boat Inspection program by automatically applying a $10 discount to the price of annual Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) boating permits required to launch on Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. With the end of the Washington State COVID-19 emergency orders, annual permit costs are reverting to the pre-pandemic price structure.

But the AIS boating permit discount is still available. Visit and take the AIS Awareness Course. Complete the test to earn your “AIS Awareness Course Certificate” and a $10 online discount code for your 2023 permit purchase. Thank you for being a responsible steward of our local lakes and preventing the spread of invasive species! We look forward to seeing you on the water in 2023.



​Whatcom Boat Inspection Hotline: (360) 778-7975