Extension of Live-Aboard Privileges 


In 1992, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Protection of Tidewaters Act (O.C.G.A. 52-1-1 thru 10) declaring that structures located upon tidewaters which are used as places of habitation, dwelling, sojournment, or residence are a public nuisance and unlawful.  Further, such structures interfered with the state's proprietary interest, the public trust, or both, and were removed to ensure the rights of the state and the people of the State of Georgia to use and enjoy such tidewaters.  The Act states that structures do not include vessels which are capable of navigation and are moored at marinas. 

The Coastal Marshlands Protection Act of 1970 (CMPA), as amended in 1992, defines the term “live-aboard” as a floating vessel or other water craft which is moored to a dock, tree, or piling or anchored in the estuarine waters of the state and is utilized as a human or animal abode (O.C.G.A. 12-5-282 (8)).  The Act states that occupying a live-aboard for more than 90* days during a calendar year is contrary to the public interest and, thus, is prohibited; provided, however, that the Commissioner of Natural Resources may extend the allowable period of occupancy of a live-aboard vessel within a calendar year when requested to do so in writing.

In 2010, members of the public approached CRD staff and asked that the feasibility of removing the 90*-day limit for occupancy of live-aboard vessels as specified in the 1992 amendment of the CMPA be investigated.

Rule 391-2-3-.05, Extension for Live-Aboard Privileges

In 2011, the DNR Board approved Rule 391-2-3-.05.  The purpose of the Rule is to create a process whereby boaters desiring to live-aboard their vessels in coastal Georgia waters for more than 90*-days may make application to be the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.  The Rule allows for live-aboard extensions to be granted to owners of vessels moored in marinas that have sewage pump-out and/or dump facilities as described in the rule.  In general terms the following requirements are needed in order to apply for an Extension of Live-Aboard Privileges:

  • Individuals must have a slip rental agreement with an Eligible Marina.
  • Individuals must certify that the vessel has a secured mechanism to prevent discharge of treated and untreated sewage.  (i.e.  including but not limited to…..closing the seacock and padlocking, using a non-releasable wire tie, or removing the seacock handle (with the seacock closed)).
  • Individuals must certify that they will not discharge any sewage, treated or untreated, into Georgia coastal waters and that they will use a pump-out station to empty their holding tank and keep a record of each pump-out for one-year.
  • Individuals must certify that the vessel is capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water and is capable of safe, mechanically-propelled, navigation under average Georgia coastal wind and current conditions.
  • Live-Aboard Extensions cannot be transferred.
  • Individuals must request a modification to a Live-Aboard Extension prior to re-locating to a new eligible marina.
  • Live- Aboard Extensions must or may be renewed every calendar year.
  • Vessels associated with a Live-Aboard Extension are subjected to inspections by the Department.

For Questions regarding Live-Aboard Applications, please contact Mrs. Cynthia Ridley at (912) 264-7218.


Eligible Marinas:

In general terms the following requirements are needed in order to be an approved Eligible Marina:

  • The marina must have an approved disposal system with a minimum holding tank size as listed below or a direct connection to a municipal or private sewage treatment facility.

Total # of Live-aboards

Minimum Holding Tank Size 


  300 gallons


 600 gallons


 900 gallons


 1,200 gallons


 1,500 gallons

 More than 100

 2,000 gallons

  • A marina must be in good standing with its Coastal Marshlands Protection Act permit and its Department waterbottoms lease.

For Questions regarding Eligible Marinas, please contact Mr. Charles “Buck” Bennett at (912) 262-3132.

Current Eligible Marinas include the following:

Chatham County

-Isle of Hope Marina – Skidaway River (approved for more than 100 live-aboards)

-Bull River Marina-Bull River (approved for more than 100 live-aboards)

-Morningstar Marinas-Bahia Blue (approved for more than 100 live-aboards)

-Coffee Bluff Marina (approved for more than 100 live-aboards)

Glynn County

-Brunswick Landing Marina – East River (approved for more than 100 live-aboards)

-Golden Isles Marina (Morningstar Marina) - Frederica River (approved for more than 100 live-aboards)

-Jekyll Island Harbor Marina - Jekyll Creek (approved for more than 100 live-aboards)  


Click here for the Rule 391-2-3.05, Extension of Live-Aboard Privileges 


Click here for the Application for Extension of Live-Aboard Privileges 

Senate Bill 319 was recently passed changing the law from 30 days to 90 days.