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How to get a boat mooring permit

How to get a boat mooring permit

You must get a Boat Mooring Permit if you want to moor or dock your vessel in Boston.

Step
1

Before you get started

If it applies to you, you may have to pay a Boat Excise before you can get approved for a permit. Please note:

  • The Boston Police Department Harbormaster needs to approve all renewal applications. The permitting system allows the Boston Police Department to track harbor security.
  • You must display your permit on the port side of your vessel near the transom.
  • If you moor your boat without a permit, you will be subject to a fine of $25 per day.
Step
2

Get your info together

Complete and print out the boat mooring permit application. Please fill it out completely — missing information may delay the process. You need to include a copy of the vessel registration or Certificate of Documentation with your application, whichever applies to you.

If you bought the vessel after July 1, 2015, please provide a copy of the bill of sale. If you owned the vessel before July 1, 2015, we need to see proof that you paid your excise bill.

You need to pay a permit fee with your application. Fees are $5 for each linear foot of the boat. Boston residents receive an exemption, and only pay $1 per linear foot.

We may ask for proof of residency to process your application. You just need to show us a government-issued ID with a Boston address.

If you're mailing your application, you can pay with a check or money order made payable to the City of Boston. In person, you can pay by cash or check.

Step
3

Give us your application

You can either mail your application, documents, and payment to:

City of Boston, Collector of Taxes
P.O. Box 9711
Boston, MA 02114-9711

Or, you can bring all your information to our office:

Treasury Department, Collecting Division
1 City Hall Square, Window M-31
Boston, MA 02201
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

If the Harbormaster approves your application, we may issue you an excise tax bill. We won’t finalize your application until you pay the excise bill. Find out how to pay your boat excise tax

Step
1

Before you get started

If we issued you a valid mooring permit in the previous year, we will send you a Boat Excise bill in the mail. You need to pay the excise bill to get your mooring permit renewed.

About one month later, we will send you a renewal application in the mail. Please note:

  • The Boston Police Department Harbormaster needs to approve all renewal applications.
  • You must display your permit on the port side of your vessel near the transom.
  • If you moor your boat without a permit, you will be subject to a fine of $25 per day.
Step
2

Renew your permit online

After you get your notice in the mail, you can pay the mooring permit renewal fee online.

Step
3

Or renew your permit in person

You can renew your boat mooring permit at Boston City Hall after you get your notice. Don't forget to bring:

  • your renewal notice
  • a copy of your registration or Certificate of Documentation if you changed your vessel, and
  • a copy of your driver’s license if you changed your address.

Please bring all your information to:

Treasury Department, Collecting Division
1 City Hall Square, Window M-31
Boston, MA 02201
United States
Office hours
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Need to Know:
PAY YOUR BOAT EXCISE TAX

If it applies to you, you must pay your Boat Excise tax before you can get your Boat Mooring Permit application approved. Find out how to pay your boat excise tax.

When will you get your permit decal?

After we get your application and payment, we forward your application to the Harbormaster for review and approval. It may take four to five weeks before you get your mooring permit decal in the mail.

Contact:
Tax Collection
617-635-4131
1 City Hall Square
Window M-30
Boston, MA 02201-2004
United States
More resources
  • For technical questions about the online application, please email onlinepayments@cityofboston.gov.
  • If you have questions about your mooring location or the mooring ordinance, contact the Boston Police Harbormaster at 617-343-4721, or by email: moorings.bpd@ci.boston.ma.us. Read the Boston Mooring Ordinance.
  • If you have questions about a payment, renewal, or whether your application will be subject to excise tax, call our office at 617-635-4129.