Private moorings

A NSW private mooring licence allows you to moor your vessel at a specific site on navigable waters. Here's how to apply and the rules you must follow.

What is a private mooring licence?

A private mooring licence permits you to moor your vessel on navigable waters. The licence is valid for 12 months. It will be renewed on payment of your annual private mooring fees.

This licence is not a lease of the seabed and there is no guarantee of tenure. The general position of the site is determined (and may be varied) at the discretion of Transport for NSW. However, it’s the responsibility of your chosen mooring contractor to ensure the mooring and its location are suitable for your vessel.

Eligibility

Private mooring licences are only issued to individuals. They’re not issued to a partnership, company, organisation or association.

A person may not have more than 2 private moorings in the one designated mooring area.

A private mooring licence is only issued when the vessel to be licensed to the mooring is:

  • 5.2 metres or more in length, and
  • registered in NSW or holds a Certificate of Operation or Unique Identifier issued under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012.

Before the licence is issued, the vessel will be subject to a visual assessment. See visual suitability of vessels on moorings to ensure that it’s suitable for your preferred mooring area.

Licence conditions

A private mooring licence is subject to special conditions. Non-compliance with these conditions may result in the cancellation of your licence and/or any liability insurance for your vessel becoming null and void. See Private Mooring Licence conditions for more information.

A private mooring licence cannot be sublet or traded in any way.

There may also be special conditions specific to your mooring area. For information or issues relating to these specific conditions, contact Transport on 13 12 36 (option 2).

Finding a suitable mooring

Use our private mooring map to search and apply for a mooring.

The map will give you an indication of site availability in your preferred area. If there are no moorings available, you can apply to join a priority wait list.

Applying for a mooring

If your preferred area has immediate availability, you’ll need to:

Once your application is approved, you'll be issued with a private mooring licence certificate. You’ll also be prompted to take the next steps:

  • Contact the boating safety officer to arrange an appointment to allocate a suitable position. (You'll receive contact details when your licence is issued.)
  • Arrange the purchase and positioning of a suitable mooring apparatus at the allocated site by a mooring contractor. It is the responsibility of a mooring contractor to ensure that the mooring and its location are suitable for your vessel.
  • Secure your vessel to the mooring.

Joining a priority wait list

Where the area has no immediate site availability, you can apply to join a wait list. These lists have been developed to ensure fair and equitable access for all users.

To join a wait list, you’ll need to:

When a site becomes available and you’re at the top of the priority wait list, you’ll receive an offer for the site by email or SMS with a link to complete your application. Once you access this link and if you accept the offer your application will then be available to complete via My Applications.

You'll need to respond within 14 days from the date of the offer.

Accepting an offer

If you accept the offer, you’ll have a further 31 days to:

  • have a suitable vessel registered in your name
  • complete your application for private mooring licence
  • include a recent photograph of the vessel you plan to attach to the mooring
  • provide proof of identity
  • pay the remaining fees.

Once the private mooring licence has been issued, you’ll need to:

  • Contact the boating safety officer to arrange an appointment to allocate a suitable position. (You'll receive contact details when your licence is issued.)
  • Arrange the purchase and positioning of a suitable mooring apparatus at the allocated site by a mooring contractor. It is the responsibility of a mooring contractor to ensure that the mooring and its location are suitable for your vessel.
  • Secure your vessel to the mooring.

Declining the offer

If you decline the offer, you can request in writing to remain on the wait list. This will place you at the bottom of the list. If you decline a second offer, you will be removed from the priority wait list. A refund will be issued provided you make a written request.

Not responding to the offer

If you don’t respond to the offer within 14 days, we’ll take reasonable steps to contact you. If we can't contact you, your name will be removed from the priority wait list. To receive a refund of fees, complete and sign the Request for Refund form. You can submit it at any service centre, or post it to the address on the form.

Cancellations

If you wish to cancel your place on a priority wait list, complete and sign the Request for Refund form. You can submit it at any service centre, or post it to the address on the form.

When we'll contact you

When a site becomes available it’s offered to the first person on the list. They will receive an offer by email or SMS. The top 5 applicants on the wait list for that bay will also receive a notification of their new position on the list.

Some areas have a high turnover, while more popular areas have a lower turnover. So you may receive regular notifications or no notifications for a long period of time, depending on the popularity of the mooring area you are waiting on.

Private mooring licence fees

The annual mooring licence fee is determined by the mooring location and vessel length. For an initial private mooring licence you also need to pay an establishment fee.

If you need to change the vessel on a mooring or relocate a vessel to a different mooring site within the same area, conditions and additional mooring fees will apply.

Find out what mooring fees will apply for you.

Resident only mooring areas

Purpose of the resident only private mooring licence provision

The purpose of this provision is to ensure there are moorings available for bona-fide residents that need them. The objective is to assist residents whose general means of transportation to the mainland is via water and/or for the safety of the local residents.

A private mooring licence (PML) may be applied for by an individual, based on TfNSW Maritime's 'resident only' (RO) provision, in instances where assistance is required for a resident (owner occupier/tenant) to access premises that are deemed by Maritime to be 'water only' access, within a designated RO mooring area. A Maritime officer is to determine if the application is valid and that a suitable vessel will be moored on the RO PML, prior to seeking appropriate approval. The issuance of a RO PML is generally restricted to one per residence. A request for an additional licence may be assessed in exceptional circumstances by the Manager Operations for the relevant area, with a maximum of two licences per residence in a mooring area.

Proof of Residency

Proof of residency is required to support each mooring application. In the case of an owner/occupier, the most recent rates notice and a current utility bill (eg for provision of electricity/gas/telephone/internet service), issued within the past three months in the name of the applicant for the related premises, must be provided with the initial application. For a tenant, a copy of the lease agreement for the premises and a current utility bill, issued within the past three months in the name of the applicant for the related premises, must be provided with the initial application. 

Renewal of a RO PML

A person that was issued with a private mooring licence based on the resident only provisions is not eligible to retain the licence if their residency status changes ie they sell the dwelling or are no longer a tenant at the premises. Such a licence will not be renewed unless appropriate proof of residency is provided by the applicant upon request. 

Transfer of a RO PML

A RO PML is subject to residency status and cannot be transferred, unless authorised by an existing TfNSW policy eg Deceased Estate. A new application generally needs to be submitted by the resident and assessed on a case by case basis.

Cancellation of a RO PML

A person that was issued with a private mooring licence based on the resident only provisions is not eligible to retain the licence if their residency status changes ie they sell the dwelling or are no longer a tenant at the premises. Such a licence may be cancelled at any time during the term of the licence, under cl.67ZC/ZD of the Ports and Maritime Administration Regulation (PaMA) 2012, if Maritime determines that the ownership/residency status of the licence holder at the applicable premises has changed.

Note: In instances where the ownership/residency status of the RO PML holder at the applicable premises is about to change, the RO PML licence holder must notify TfNSW Maritime in writing of this change at least 7 days before the change occurs, as required by cl.67ZI(1) of the PaMA regulation.

Share this page: