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Private Aids to Navigation
(PATON) (Non-Bridge Projects)
What is the Purpose of this Permit?Private Aids to Navigation (PATON) refers to all marine aids to navigation operated in the federally recognized navigable waters of the United States other than those operated by the Federal Government or those operated in State waters for private aids to navigation. This includes lighted structures and daybeacons, lighted and unlighted buoys, RACONs and fog signals. For a list of federally recognized waterways within Washington State contact the 13th Coast Guard District Waterways Management Branch.
To ensure the safety of the boating public the Coast Guard is required to review all work performed within the navigable waters of the United States and determine whether or not such work (i.e. installation of a fixed structure or floating object) will require to be marked with PATON.
Non-commercial, single-boat, mooring buoys do not require a Coast Guard permit, provided they do not cause more than a minimal adverse effect on navigation and display the standard markings. The same is true of most information and regulatory marks, such as swim buoys, no-wake buoys, and race course buoys. For these the Coast Guard issues a letter of no objection. Owners contemplating establishing such buoys need to contact the Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance for additional permit requirements.
What Activities Require this Permit?Installation of a fixed structure or floating object within the waters of the United States.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?The application which is called 'US Coast Guard Private Aids to Navigation Application (CG-2554) Questionnaire' is online and can be accessed at http://www.uscg.mil/d13/dpw/docs/Fillable_PATON_Application_Questionnaire_16May14.pdf.
Is the Decision on my Permit Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?PATON Permit requires prior Army Corps of Engineers permit approval for the work being done.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?Permitting time frame can vary depending on workload, though average wait for a permit is three months.
Where do I Submit my Application?Upon review of Army Corps of Engineers, state, county, city/town permits or direct contact from an individual the Coast Guard will give a ruling and determine whether or not the work in questions will require a PATON to be installed and an application approved.
How Long is my Permit Valid?A permit only needs to be renewed if there are changes made to the structure that affect the condition of the permit. For example changes in ownership, dock relocation, removal of a buoy, etc.
What is the Appeal Process for the Permit?Appeals must be made in writing to the 13th Coast Guard District Commander via the application approving official.
Private Aids to Navigation
13th Coast Guard District
915 Second Ave, Room 3510
Seattle, WA 98174-1067
Telephone: (206) 220-7285
Fax: (206) 220-7265
* Permit information last updated 4/6/2017
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