AIS prevention permits: seaplanes

Washington state law requires owners of seaplanes to purchase an aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention permit before placing or operating the seaplane in any waterbody in the state.

Seaplanes are aircraft (including fixed wing and helicopters) that are able to land or take off from water. Each registered seaplane requires a permit. AIS prevention permits are not transferable between multiple seaplanes owned by the same operator, but any operator can use a seaplane that has a valid permit (does not preclude other state or federal seaplane operator requirements). 

AIS prevention permits are valid for one year and can be purchased online (under the "Other" Product Categories tab) or from any of the department's authorized license dealers. When purchasing online, you may select a preferred activation date. The permit will be valid for one year from that date.

A valid AIS prevention permit must be present and readily available (electronic or hard copy) for inspection by a fish and wildlife officer or ex officio fish and wildlife officer at the location where the seaplane is placed or operated.

How to locate the registration number

All civil aircraft are registered with a national aviation authority using procedures set by each country. The registration numbers are alphanumeric and displayed prominently on the aircraft. 

In the United States, the six-digit registration number is commonly referred to as an "N" number, because all aircraft registered in this country have a number starting with the letter N. After the letter N, there can be a five-digit number (N12345), four digits and one letter (N1234Z) or three digits followed by a two-letter code (N123AZ). The letter codes may not contain ā€œIā€ or ā€œOā€, due to their similarities with the numerals 1 and 0. The registration number is not hyphenated.

In Canada, the airplane registration "number" starts with the letter "C" followed by a hyphen (-) and then a four-letter code.

Examples of exempt seaplanes

  • Seaplanes that are not required to register or be licensed by a state or country;
  • Private or commercial seaplanes being transported over land by a commercial transporter (a permit is required by the commercial transporter only);
  • Military seaplanes owned by the U.S. government; and
  • Seaplanes clearly identified as being owned by any federal, tribal, state, or local government agency or other public entities, and used primarily for governmental purposes.

Seaplane Pilot Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Training

The Washington Seaplane Pilots Association has developed a free online prevention training that is recognized by the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The training includes a training video, test, and certificate.