We are now introducing a Commercial Permit Wait List for Commercial Permits.

You must be a current Chicago Harbors Boater or have an active mooring application on file in order to fill out a request.

Please note that submitting an application does not ensure permit approval and all applications will be assigned according to the Chicago Park District code Chapter 8- Page 12, C.4. Commercial Permits. 

 

Due to changes in the US Coast Guard Guidance, Chicago Harbors will no longer be offering Bare Boat or 6 Passenger Permits.

All 2023 Commercial Permit holders were required to reapply for the 2024 season according to the new Guidelines.

Note the Coast Guard has terminated numerous voyages of illegal passenger vessels. Owners and operators of illegal passenger vessels can face civil penalties of $60,000 or more for illegal passenger-for-hire operations.

An illegal passenger vessel is any vessel where one or more passenger-for-hire is aboard without a Passenger Boat License. A passenger-for-hire is any person who pays or for whom consideration is contributed (fuel, food, beverage, or other supplies) as a condition of carriage on the vessel other than the owner, charterer, or crew.

This means that if you charter your boat with only a Rental Boat License and the charterer then charges someone to or accepts consideration, you are operating an illegal passenger vessel.

You should review the Coast Guard’s Updated Guidance for Owners, contact your insurance provider, and consult with legal counsel familiar with maritime operations to ensure compliance with federal regulations prior to submitting your re-application.

 

Research Before Renting

Following 46 USC 2101 Section (29). The following Permits are available for current Permit Holders only:

Type of Permit:

  • Recreational Vessel

No Passengers for hire – any person who pays or contributes (fuel, food, beverage, or other supplies) other than the Charterer.
No Captain or Crew provided by the owner including boats owned by LLCs that include the Owner/Captain or Captains/Crew on staff.
Submit sample written contract with the Charterer including requirement to follow Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Guidance and the Chicago Harbor Rules of Conduct & Party Guidelines.
Submit list of Captains provided to Charterer.
Submit IDNR Rental Boat License each year.
Submit Certificate of Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 naming Chicago Park District – Westrec SMI OpCo, LLC as additional insured each year.
May carry up to 12 persons not including the Captain and Charterer.

  • Uninspected Passenger Vessel
    • Passenger

Carrying at least one Passenger for hire.
Captain/Crew provided by Owner.
Provide Captain’s License.
Submit sample written contract with the Charterer including requirement to follow Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Guidance and the Chicago Harbors Rules of Conduct & Party Guidelines.
Submit IDNR Passenger Boat License each year.
Submit Certificate of General Commercial Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 naming Chicago Park District – Westrec SMI OpCo, LLC as additional insured each year.
May carry 6 or less passengers not including the Captain and Charterer.

    • Fishing

Carrying at least one Passenger for hire.
Captain/Crew provided by Owner.
Provide Captain’s License.
Submit IDNR Sport Fishing Charter Operators Permit each year.
Submit Certificate of General Commercial Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 naming Chicago Park District – Westrec SMI OpCo, LLC as additional insured each year.
May carry 6 or less passengers not including the Captain and Charterer.

    • Sailing

Carrying at least one Passenger for hire.
Captain/Crew provided by Owner.
Submit IDNR Rental Boat License each year.
Submit IDNR Passenger Boat License each year.
Submit Certificate of General Commercial Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 naming Chicago Park District – Westrec SMI OpCo, LLC as additional insured each year.
May carry 6 or less passengers not including the Captain, Crew and Charterer.

  • Small Passenger Vessel

Carrying 7-12 passengers not including Captain, Crew and Charterer.
Captain/Crew provided by Owner.
Provide USCG Inspection Certificate
Provide Captain’s License.
Submit sample written contract with the Charterer including requirement to follow Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Guidance and the Chicago Harbors Rules of Conduct & Party Guidelines.
Submit IDNR Passenger Boat License each year.
Submit Certificate of General Commercial Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 naming Chicago Park District – Westrec SMI OpCo, LLC as additional insured each year.

 

  • Inspected Passenger Vessel
    • 20 Passenger

Carrying 13-20 passengers not including Captain, Crew and Charterer.
Provide Captain’s License.
Provide USCG Inspection Certificate
Submit IDNR Passenger Boat License each year.
Submit Certificate of General Commercial Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 naming Chicago Park District – Westrec SMI OpCo, LLC as additional insured each year.

    • Party

Carrying 20 or more passengers.
Submit Chicago Business License
Provide Captain’s License.
Provide USCG Inspection Certificate
Submit IDNR Passenger Boat License each year.
Submit Certificate of General Commercial Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 naming Chicago Park District – Westrec SMI OpCo, LLC as additional insured each year.
Submit City of Chicago Commercial Vessel Owners Permit

  • Dealer

Submit Chicago Business License or equivalent.
Submit Certificate of General Commercial Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 naming Chicago Park District – Westrec SMI OpCo, LLC as additional insured each year.
Submit IL Registration for each boat in the Harbors.

 

Commercial Requests will remain on file until granted. You must be a current Chicago Harbors Boater or have an active mooring application on file in order to fill out a request. Please check our availability list online as well. Approval may require slip relocation. Filling out a request does not guarantee a Commercial Permit. Permits will be granted according to the Chicago Park District Code. If you receive approval for a Commercial Permit your paperwork must be submitted and permit paid for within the same boating season. If paperwork and payment is not received you will forfeit your Commercial approval and will need to reapply. All parties who do not have a valid commercial permit and operate illegally are subject to fines and revocation of their mooring permit.