The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) requires operators of certain aircraft and watercraft, as well as
commercial transporters of specified vessel types, to purchase permits to help the department's efforts in preventing the spread
of aquatic invasive species (AIS).
The permit is valid for one year from its activation date and is available for purchase online (under the "other" permits tab) or from any of WDFW's
authorized license sales providers.
Funds generated from the $24 fee ($20 permit plus transaction and dealer fees) support the department's efforts to keep
Washington's waters free of aquatic invasive species and manage infestations when prevention fails. Permit sales are expected to
generate approximately $412,000 annually in revenue by 2021.
During the 2017 session, the Washington state Legislature passed Senate Bill 5303 authorizing the prevention permits,
which were recommended by the AIS Funding Advisory Committee. The group recommended pursuing funding for the department's
program from sectors that present a risk of AIS introduction or transmission, and those sectors that benefit most from healthy,
AIS-free aquatic environments.
More information about specific requirements can be found in Washington's
laws pertaining to aquatic invasive species.
Washington residents, who register their watercraft, automatically pay an annual fee to support the department's AIS program
when registering their boats. A valid registration sticker serves as proof of payment and an AIS prevention permit is not
Other watercraft that do not need a prevention permit to operate in Washington's waters include:
- Small watercraft (from Washington or out-of-state) that do not require state or country registration such as canoes and
- U.S. government (federal, state or local), military or tribal vessels or seaplanes.
- Watercraft registered as "tenders" to larger boats.
- U.S. or internationally documented commercial vessels.