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

IMPORTANT: To provide for the safety of our inspectors during the COVID-19 crisis, we have eliminated the handling of credit cards and checks at our inspection stations. All permits must be purchased online. A $10 discount (before purchase) will be applied to all annual permits purchased online. Click on the permit options below to be directed to our online payment system.

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 AIS permit after passing the inspection.


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

  • Annual Permit ($50) unlimited inspections (valid through Dec. 31) (COVID discount applied)
  • 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 ($20) unlimited inspections (valid through Dec. 31) (COVID discount applied)
  • 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 ($0) unlimited inspections (valid through Dec. 31) (COVID discount applied)
    • No payment required. Permits will be issued at the check station after the watercraft has passed inspection.

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 learn more about the AIS Program and ways to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Payment Options

  • Online: Credit/debit cards only.
  • Inspection Locations: Prepay online. No checks or credit cards accepted on-site due to COVID-19 safety procedures.

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 may be purchased online and are valid only for the date(s) 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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