Commission Adopts Notice of Intent for Registration of Houseboats

Release Date: 10/15/2018

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a notice of intent that would establish rules governing the registration of houseboats.

Act 628 of the 2018 Regular Legislative Session requires the registration of houseboats upon Louisiana waters beginning Jan. 1, 2019.  The proposed rule clarifies which vessels qualify as houseboats requiring registration and establishes an application process.

The notice of intent states that every houseboat operated, occupied, inhabited, utilized, or otherwise deployed on the waters of this state must be registered with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and be properly numbered in accordance with R.S. 34:851.20.

Houseboats would be defined as any vessel constructed or utilized for the primary purpose of a temporary or permanent dwelling without an effective means of propulsion for safe navigation.

When determining whether a vessel meets the definition of a “houseboat”, the department shall utilize the standard such that a reasonable observer would conclude that the vessel is capable of being used as an abode, habitation, or dwelling for at least a temporary basis.

Such determination should involve, but is not limited to, whether the vessel has a roof and is enclosed, or has multiple walls or structures capable of protecting inhabitants from the elements.

Additional evidence that may be considered include the presence of doors, windows, electrical wiring, plumbing, appliances, cabinetry, bedding, or any other features commonly found in a dwelling. 

While registration of houseboats is mandatory beginning in 2019, titling of houseboats is optional.

Public comment on this notice of intent may be submitted to Major Rachel Zechenelly at rzechenelly@wlf.la.gov.