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Mooring Permittees and Licensees

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Mooring Permits and Licenses

Mooring Locations 

For information, permit processing or guest rental services, visit the Harbor Department located at Marina Park, 1600 W. Balboa Boulevard, Newport Beach, 92663. Staff is available daily from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. by using Channel 17, calling 949-270-8159 or by emailing

To update your mooring contact information, please use the form below:

Mooring Contact Information Update Request Form

General Mooring Information

Most of the moorings in the harbor are secured via bow and stern and may or may not be equipped with the tackle necessary to secure your boat. Be prepared to rig your own lines to the mooring cans.

As the depths of the harbor varies, boat owners are responsible for monitoring conditions with the changing tides. 


Mooring RadiusMooring Double Point

Mooring Licenses

Some mariners seek longer-term arrangements for a mooring in Newport Harbor but wish not to become mooring permittees by participating in the mooring permit transfer process.  To satisfy the demand for such arrangements, the City has established a Mooring License program to rent the City moorings to qualified tenants.  There are both onshore moorings and offshore moorings of a variety of sizes in the program. 

Mooring License Program FAQs:

What is a mooring license?

  • A month-to-month agreement for the use of an assigned mooring in Newport Harbor at a fair market fee.

How is a mooring license different than a mooring permit? 

  • A mooring license does not require capital outlay to acquire the mooring tackle (equipment) or a mooring permit.  The City owns the licensed mooring tackle and is responsible for the semi-annual mooring tackle overhauls.  The monthly fee for the license is higher than the monthly rent associated with a mooring permit.

How is a mooring license different than a mooring sub-permit?

  • A mooring license is automatically perpetuated monthly as long as the license fee is paid, the mooring is actively occupied and all other regulations and conditions for mooring use are obeyed.  A mooring sub-permit is intended for shorter-term stays.  Sub-permits are limited to 15 days (nights).  The fee for a mooring license is roughly 35% of the fee for a mooring sub-permit.

What are the basic terms and conditions associated with a mooring license?

  • Mooring licenses are available only to natural persons (individuals) and are not intended for commercial use.  Up to two individuals can be associated with a mooring license.  The mooring licensee(s) must represent 50% or more of the ownership of the assigned vessel.
  • Mooring licenses are not transferable although licensees may change the assigned vessel associated with a license.
  •  The assigned vessel must actively occupy the mooring.  Vacancy for more than 25 consecutive days is considered     abandonment without the prior approval of the Harbormaster.
  •  The licensee(s) must maintain and provide current proof of insurance coverage, naming the City as an additional insured   and valid registration for the assigned vessel.
  • Once notified a mooring license is available, an applicant will have 14 days to execute the license agreement on a form to be provided by the City.

What are the fees for a mooring license?

  • Fees as of March 1, 2024 are in the table below.  Fees are adjusted annually on July 1 and are indexed to similar-sized slips in the Balboa Yacht Basin

mooring table

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The Mooring License Application can be completed and submitted online via the City’s Virtual Connect application portal.

Off-Shore Moorings - Permits, Rents and Specifications

Mooring Permittees shall pay mooring permit rent based on the lineal foot of the mooring annually adjusted by CPI, as established by City Council Resolution No. 2016-17. The 2024 rate for an off-shore mooring is $3.35 per lineal foot per month ($40.17 per lineal foot annually).




  Off-Shore Mooring Specifications
(click image to enlarge) 
  • All mooring weights shall be metal.
  • All mooring buoys shall be of an approved type and painted with the assigned number (three-inches high).
  • All vessels must be moored fore and aft, except in exposed areas designated as single-point mooring areas.
  • All locations must be allocated by the Harbor Department staff and moorings inspected before installation.
  • The top and bottom chain shall be shackled together to form one continuous length.
  • Length of mooring chains shall be determined by Harbor Department staff.
  • Mooring pendants are an important part of the mooring and must be properly made up with thimble and shackle to each buoy at the time of installation and kept in good condition at all times.
  • Download the requirements for the weight of moorings and minimum diameter and length of line to be used.

Shore Moorings

Mooring Permittees shall pay mooring permit rent based on the lineal foot of the mooring annually adjusted by CPI, as established by City Council Resolution No. 2016-17. The 2024 rate for an on-shore mooring is $1.67 per lineal foot per month ($20.07 per lineal foot annually).


  Shore Moorings
  Maximum Length
of Boat 
  Minimum Weight
of Mooring 
  Minimum Size and
Length of Chain 
  12 FT    200 LBS    3/8 IN  25 FT 
  15 FT    250 LBS    3/8 IN  25 FT 
  18 FT    300 LBS    3/8 IN  25 FT 
  • All mooring weights shall be metal and painted with the assigned numbers.
  • A four-inch by four-inch redwood post shall be used in areas where there is no seawall. The post shall be painted white and with the assigned numbers. an "eyebolt" shall be used in areas where there is a seawall.
  • Buoy and post shall have a pulley attached with a line of not less than 3/8-inch diameter at all times. The vessel shall be moored securely bow and stern and must not be left on the beach.
  • Note: Onshore moorings are for vessels 18' and under. Vessels on onshore moorings must be self-righting on an incoming tide without flooding the vessel.

Mooring Transfers

A mooring transfer must be completed when buying and selling a mooring permit, per Municipal Code Section 17.60.040. Transfer forms must be fully completed, notarized and submitted to Madison Vitarelli, Permit Technician. Transfers are processed by appointment only and can be made by contacting Madison Vitarelli at or 949-718-3429

Note: Please make sure to read all terms, conditions, etc. and provide all necessary signatures (with a valid notary where needed) and documentation at the time of transfer. Please allow 20-30 minutes for your appointment processing time.

General Regulations

The regulations of moorings in Newport Harbor are defined in the Newport Beach Municipal Code Section 17.25-Berthing, Mooring and Storage, and 17.60.040 Mooring Permits. Below is a summary of the section. 

  • All vessels berthed, moored or anchored shall be in its designated place or it will be directed to move.
  • Vessels must be moored or anchored to prevent it from swinging or drifting into any turning basin or channel.
  • No mooring or buoy shall be placed in the waters of City-owned or controlled tidelands without first obtaining a permit. 
  • No person shall use a mooring unless he/she holds a current and valid permit, except for temporary use with permission of the Harbor Department.
  • No mooring may be leased or rented by the permittee to another person.
  • Maintaining your mooring and buoy:
    • All chains and fastenings must be of sufficient size to stand a breaking strain of at least six times the weight of the mooring.
    • All mooring lines on buoys shall be arranged so they sink immediately when dropped. Double moorings can connect two mooring lines with a spreader line with floats attached when the mooring is unoccupied.
    • Mooring buoys shall be painted with the number allocated. The numbers shall be at least three inches in height.
    • All moorings shall be kept in good and serviceable condition in the assigned location.
  • Vessels assigned to a mooring by permit must be maintained in an operable and seaworthy condition. A vessel inspection may be requested to demonstrate that the vessel is seaworthy and operable.
  • No vessel owner shall allow the following unlawful and public nuisance conditions to occur:
    • Promotion of a fire hazard
    • Retention of water that becomes stagnant
    • Accumulation of storage of rubbish, trash, debris, rubble, containers and/or boxes
    • Storing or securing a vessel that impedes pedestrian travel on City beaches or tidelands
    • Contribution to hazards to public safety and health, such as rats, insects or other unsanitary conditions
    • Non-seaworthy conditions that are unsafe, unsightly or poorly maintained
    • Installation of a marine sanitation device that is not connected directly to an internal holding tank at all times while in Newport Harbor
  • Each mooring shall be lifted for inspection at least once every two years and repaired or replaced as needed.

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