Docks and Boat Lifts – Is a Permit Required?


According to the DNR, no permit is needed to install, construct, or reconstruct your dock on shoreline property you own if you comply with the following:

  • A dock is a narrow platform or structure extending toward the water from the shoreline. A dock may provide access to moored watercraft or deeper water for swimming, skiing, and other recreation.
  • The structure, other than a watercraft lift or watercraft canopy, is not more than 8 feet wide and is not combined with other similar structures so as to create a larger structure.
  • The dock is no longer than needed to achieve its intended use, including reaching navigable water depth.
  • The structure is not a hazard to navigation, health, or safety.
  • The structure will allow the free flow of water beneath it.
  • The structure is not used or intended as a marina.
  • The structure is consistent with the guidelines of the local unit of government.
  • Docks placed on rock-filled cribs are located only on waters where the bed is predominantly bedrock.

For more information and specifications:

For more information visit the Minnesota DNR’s page on docks.