The Lake Whatcom Management Program charges fees for inspection and decontamination services to partially fund the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program.


Registered Watercraft (≥ 16 feet long and/or > 10 horsepower engine)

  • Annual Permit ($60) unlimited inspections (valid through Dec. 31)
  • 3-Day Pass ($20) unlimited inspections (valid for 3 consecutive days)
  • 1-Day Pass ($10) unlimited inspections (valid for 1 day)

Non-Registered Motorized Watercraft (< 16 feet long and ≤ 10 horsepower engine or trolling motor)

  • Annual Permit ($30) unlimited inspections (valid through Dec. 31)
  • 3-Day Pass ($20) unlimited inspections (valid for 3 consecutive days)
  • 1-Day Pass ($10) unlimited inspections (valid for 1 day)

Non-Registered Non-Motorized Watercraft (hand-carried boats like canoes, kayaks, and rowboats)

  • Annual Permit ($10) unlimited inspections (valid through Dec. 31)

Other Fees

  • Decontamination services, when required, will cost an additional $25

Permit fees are not required for surfboards, paddle boards, and kite boards (of any size); float tubes and water sport toys; or non-motorized inflatables that are 10 feet or less in length.

Take the AIS Awareness Course today to receive a $10 discount on annual permit fees for each boat you own.

Payment Options

  • Inspection Locations: Credit/debit cards only. Online course discounts only accepted here.
  • Online: Bring your printed receipt with you to your inspection as proof of payment. Credit/debit cards only.
  • City Hall: City of Bellingham Finance Department, 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mon – Fri. Cash, checks, or credit/debit cards.

Annual Permit stickers will be valid until December 31 and will need to be visible on the boat so that permit numbers can be recorded and tracked by the inspector on duty. 3-Day Passes and 1-Day Passes for registered or motorized watercraft are only available for purchase at the time of inspection and are valid for the number of days indicated on the pass.

Planning an event?

You may qualify for a special event pass for Lake Whatcom or Lake Samish.  For more information or to find out if your event qualifies, contact the Boat Inspection Hotline at 778-7975

Boater Education Card

Boat operators who are 12 to 61 years of age are required to have a Boater Education Card to operate a motorized watercraft with an engine that is 15 horsepower or more.

Did you know?

Since the 1800s, there have been 160 new exotic species introduced to the Great Lakes;  most of these species came from South Eastern Europe and approximately 70 percent were introduced through ballast water operations.

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