Aquatic Invasive Species Boat Permits

IMPORTANT: The City of Bellingham will be applying a $10 discount (before purchase) to all annual permits purchased online during the COVID-19 crisis. We have eliminated the handling of credit cards and checks at our check stations this season for the safety of our inspectors.

2021 permits are available starting on January 5. 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.

*COVID-19 Update: Your safety and the safety of our boat inspection staff are our top priority. You should expect new safety and inspection procedures when visiting our check stations based on state guidelines related to COVID-19.

  • Permits must be purchased online ahead of time. You will receive your permit after your vessel passes inspection.
  • Expect delays. We are taking steps to ensure your safety!
  • Wear a face covering.
  • Practice social distancing and stay at least 6 feet away from inspectors and other boaters.

Please remember to clean, drain and dry your boats and gear in between lakes and rivers to prevent the spread of aquatic plants and animals.

Registered Watercraft

Vessels that are 16 feet or longer and/or have 10 or more horsepower

Non-Registered Motorized Watercraft

Vessels that are 16 feet or smaller and have a 10 or less horsepower engine or trolling motor

Non-Registered Non-Motorized Watercraft

Hand-carried boats like canoes, kayaks, and rowboats.

  • Annual Permits ($0) unlimited inspections (valid through Dec 31)
  • No payment required.
  • Permits will be issued at the check station after the watercraft has passed inspection.



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