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VE Inspections for Paddle Craft

Effective 01 JUL 2013, the new State of Illinois Water Usage Stamp (WUS) is available to operators of non-powered vessels in Illinois. The new WUS program is a replacement for the registration of non-powered watercraft, which is no longer required, in Illinois. Please see below for updated Paddlecraft VSC procedures for District 9WR and additional information on the WUS.
2013 - Paddlecraft VSCs in Illinois: - VE's performing checks in Illinois during the 2013 calendar year should make sure boaters are informed of the new regulations. Effective 01 JUL 2013, all vessels not powered, by machinery or sail,(Canoe, Kayak, Float Tube, Row Boat, etc.) on Illinois waters are required to either have a previously issued, unexpired IL registration (with IL decal attached to the vessel) or a new Water Usage Stamp (WUS). - The VSC paddlecraft grace period, detailed in the 2013 District 9WR VE Workshop materials, may be extended for paddlers in the 2013 calendar year only. A VSC decal may be awarded to an IL paddler not in possession of a valid IL registration or WUS as long as they meet all other criteria for the VSC decal.
2014 AND FUTURE - Paddlecraft VSCs in Illinois: - VE's performing checks in Illinois should continue to educate the public on WUS requirements. - A vessel not powered, by machinery or sail, MUST be either have a previously issued, unexpired IL registration (with IL decal attached to the vessel) or a Water Usage Stamp (WUS) and meet all other VSC requirements in order to be awarded a VSC decal.
2013 AND FUTURE - Paddlecraft VSCs in Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin: - VE's performing checks outside of Illinois should make sure boaters are informed that all non-powered, by machinery or sail, vessels (Canoe, Kayak, Float Tube, Row Boat, etc.) taken to and operated on Illinois waters are required to have a valid Water Usage Stamp (WUS) prior to operating on IL state waters. If a paddler intends to travel to Illinois to operate their paddlecraft, the Vessel Examiner should direct them to the ILDNR website for additional information and locations where they can purchase a WUS.
DETAILS FOR BOATERS: - Program details are available on the IL DNR website at: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Pages/default.aspx - The first 3 Stamps purchased by an individual cost $6 each and each subsequent Stamp costs $3 each. - Discounted replacement WUS decals will not be provided and any replacement WUS must be purchased for the full price. - All vessels owned by out-of-state residents are required to display a WUS (whether they have an out-of-state registration, or not) prior to being launched in IL waters. - The WUS is registered to a single vessel for a single calendar year and must be affixed to that vessel. - The WUS program is administered similarly to fishing licenses and the WUS can generally be purchased at the same retail outlets that sell IL fishing licenses.
EXCEPTIONS: - Rental companies providing watercraft subject to WUS requirements need not affix the WUS to their vessels, however they must be on hand and present on-site with the watercraft such that the WUS decals can be counted and inspected by Illinois Conservation Officers. - Items used as swimming aids in swimming areas are not subject to WUS requirements. - Items being towed by other powered watercraft are not subject to WUS requirements. - Watercraft displaying a valid and current Illinois Boat Registration Decal do not need to display a WUS. (Note: There is no exemption for out of state registered non-powered watercraft.)