Canoes, kayaks need new state watercraft stamp
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org July 26, 2013 3:46PM
This stamp is now required for non-motorized watercraft in Illinois. | Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Updated: August 29, 2013 7:48PM
Anyone who owns a canoe or a kayak and plans to set it in the water anywhere in Illinois better get a new stamp from the state.
The Department of Natural Resources requires the $6 Water Usage Stamp for all non-motorized, non-sail watercraft, including canoes, kayaks and paddleboats, according to the department’s website. The new law appears to affect any craft of any kind that can carry a person in the water.
“The way it’s written, I would say it even covers inner tubes,” said Greg Freeman, owner of Freeman’s Sports Inc. in downtown Yorkville.
However, an update posted Friday afternoon on the IDNR website says the department “has decided to eliminate the requirement that Water Usage Stamps be purchased for inner tubes.”
The news stamp replaces the old title and registration license that non-powered watercraft were required to get in the past, although anyone still having one of those can keep it until it expires. After that, they need to buy the new stamp.
The old title and registration would cost $13 the first time, then $6 for every three years. The new stamp now is simply $6 a year for each craft owned for the first three and then $3 each for any others.
Freeman said the change came about because to get the old license, the owner of a non-motorized craft had to be able to prove ownership with a title. The problem is, not everyone can find title to a canoe or kayak.
“Someone might have owned a canoe for 20 years, or they inherited it from someone or bought it a garage sale,” Freeman said. “It opens things up for people who didn’t have a title.”
State law requires that the purchaser of a powered watercraft apply for a registration/title to the Department of Natural Resources within 15 days of the sale.
The new system does not help anyone establish ownership for non-powered watercraft, however.
The stamp is purchased by the craft’s owner, which means if you rent from a place like Freeman’s, the company already has purchased the stamp.
The stamps are available over the counter at any DNR-direct license or permit point-of-sale vendors, according to the DNR website.
Licensing rules for all motor or wind-powered watercraft must follow the old procedures for getting stickers, the DNR website said.