A new rule requiring permits for all boat docks in the state went into effect this month and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is working to educate everyone on the changes. The head of the DNR’s law enforcement bureau, Lowell Joslin, the old rule didn’t require a paper permit for most docks if they were a standard design.

Joslin says the old rules simply required dock owners to post their name and address on the end of the dock and they were exempted from getting a paper permit. Joslin says in research the last two years to update rules, they learned they couldn’t exempt dock owners from having a paper permit for certain standard size docks.

Joslin says the DNR is phasing in the rule for dock owners as their five-year licenses come up for renewal. He says people with standard docks can put them out this summer. Joslin says they’re working on developing a web-based system so people can register their docks via the internet. Joslin says there are some changes in size regulations — but they will impact new dock owners.

Joslin says old structures will be grandfathered in, but new docks will be required to meet the new standards. He says for the most part, existing dock owners won’t see any change. Joslin says the standard fee for registering docks is not changing. Joslin says the fee will stay at 25 dollars a year or 125 dollars for five years. He says there will be some additional hoist fees for areas with restrictions on hoists, which are 50 dollars a year for additional hoists.

Joslin says the fee for commercial docks will stay at 250 dollars for a five-year registration. Joslin says you can find information on the Iowa dock rule and permit application forms on the DNR’s website . Click on the box in the middle of the right hand column, labeled "Dock Information."