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New dock registration rules and online registration process

Date: July 01, 2021

Owners of legally existing non-tidal docking structures in need of repairs or maintenance will have an alternative to obtaining a Wetlands permit to authorize the work. On June 15, NHDES introduced a new voluntary registration process that dock owners can participate in that will allow their structures to be exempted from the usual repair permitting requirements. This new registration process is faster, easier and less expensive ($200) than the existing Permit-by-Notification, Expedited Minimum or Standard Wetlands permitting processes ($400).

The new registration process can also benefit owners of seasonal structures that do not require repair permits. Often, the owners of seasonal structures lack documentation illustrating that the structures are compliant with RSA 482-A. This can cause delays when buying or selling property while the owner is searching for a historic permit or evidence that the structure was built before 1978. Registration only requires that the structure has existed since January 1, 2000, and registered structures will, by law, be considered to be in compliance with RSA 482-A. Thus registering seasonal structures may reduce delays and facilitate property sales.

Again this new process is only available for legal non-tidal structures, and also cannot be used for residential structures over public waters.

NHDES has developed an online registration process to facilitate and streamline the use of this new option for those that choose to participate and register their docking structures. Registrations will need to be renewed at the end of their five-year term to remain valid. The renewal process will also be available online. 

More detailed information about the adopted interim rules can be found in the following two fact sheets: New Voluntary Non-Tidal Docking Structures Registration Process (WB-28) and Permitting for Private, Non-Commercial Freshwater Docking Structures (WB-19). Additionally, a video has been published on the NHDES YouTube channel to explain the new electronic submission process that has been rolled out in conjunction with the new Dock Registration rules.