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All docks, hoists, buoys, and rafts placed in or over any water open to the public in the state of Iowa must now have a permit. Iowa Administrative Rule 571 - Chapter 16
Installing a new boat dock with electrical? Take note!
All docks must have a sign with their local 911 street address, city and permit number. The information shall be displayed in block letters and numbers at least 1 inch high in a color contrasting with the background, on the water end of the dock, facing away from shore, and shall be plainly visible. The name is not required.
Any fees owed to the department shall be paid in full prior to the installation of any portion of an individual private dock or commercial dock and before a boat is placed in a hoist or slip.
Each dock, hoist, moored vessel or other permitted structure shall be offset a minimum of 5 feet from an adjoining property line. A minimum gap of 10 feet shall be maintained between adjoining docks (including “L” or “T” or catwalk segments), hoists or moored boats. There are exceptions to the offset, length limits, number of hoists and slips, and platform size requirements. Please see the dock rules for details. An Exception Application must be attached to the Class 3 or Class 4 dock permit application.
Class 3 - Non Standard Private Dock
All private docks that are not authorized by Class 1 or Class 2 permits shall require a Class 3 dock permit. Class 3 docks on a natural lake may extend the greater of 100 feet from the water’s edge or far enough so that the outer 80 feet of the dock is in 3 feet of water up to a maximum of 300 feet from the water’s edge. These lengths shall be measured from the water’s edge when the dock is installed. All private docks that have more than two hoists/lifts/slips/racks or a platform that is larger than 200 square feet but no larger than 240 square feet or any raft, platform, mooring buoy or other structures, or an exception to the five foot offset from the property lines must have a Class 3 permit. These permits cost $125 for a five-year permit. Class 3 private dock permits allow a maximum of one hoist or slip for each ten feet of shoreline. There is a fee of $50 per hoist or slip for each hoist or slip in excess of four.
Class 3 Dock Information Sheet
Class 4 Dock - Commercial Dock
Class 4 permits are for commercial docks, defined as a dock used as part of a business and includes a dock extending from residential property if one or more spaces are rented for a fee. These permits cost $250 for a five-year permit. Class 4 commercial dock permits allow a maximum of one hoist or slip for each ten feet of shoreline (this restriction does not apply to marinas). There is a fee of $50 per hoist or slip for each hoist or slip in excess of six, excluding courtesy hoists or slips.
Class 4 Dock Information Sheet
Information on DNR requirements for docks, hoists, buoys, mooring buoys, and rafts can be obtained online.
Dock Management Areas
A Dock Management Area (DMA) is an area as designated by the department which includes an area adjoining public land from which docks extend.
Dock Management Area Information Sheet
This short summary does not include all of the provisions of the new DNR dock rules.
See Iowa Administrative Rule 571 - Chapter 16 for details.