Special Event Permits

Permits Required by Law
You are required by Minnesota State Statute 86B.121 to have a Sheriff’s permit prior to holding an event on any public water. An event is described as:
  • “A gathering of persons engaged in (organized) activities on waters of the State or public property adjacent to those waters that, in the Sheriff’s opinion, would have an impact on public safety or natural resources.”
Permit Information
There is no charge for this permit in Otter Tail County. In order to have a permit issued, the application form must be filed with our office at least 14 days prior to the event. Any other attachments may be faxed when available, prior to the event.

You will need a permit if one or more of the following conditions apply to your event:
  • There are greater than a total of 25 participants, organizers and/or spectators expected for open water events
  • There are greater than a total of 150 participants, organizers and/or spectators expected for winter / ice events
  • The entry fee is greater than $25 per person / team
  • The event is a sponsored, traveling type recurring event or tournament
  • You intend on placing any structure in the public water associated with the event
  • Your event involves the racing and/or exhibition of speed of motorized vehicles / watercraft
This permit does not exempt you from obtaining an application / permit from the MN DNR.

Permit Rules
  1. A letter of permission or a permit, as required, must be obtained from the city that the event will originate, occur, or conclude in
  2. You must attach a detailed map of the event area, race course, staging location, weigh-in location, parking areas, access points, etc
  3. You must attach a copy of any permits issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  4. You will enclose a sample of entry form
  5. In planning your event, please consider the following:
    • Impact on general boating traffic, public water, surrounding shoreline, nearby residents
    • Access, parking and traffic considerations
    • Access for police, fire and emergency medical services for your event and local residents
    • On-site medical services
    • Toilet facilities
    • Other considerations created by your event
  6. You must have prior arrangements if your event will require parking direction and/or traffic control on adjacent or nearby city, township or county roadways
  7. You must provide the name and cell phone number for an on-site event organizer / contact person. This person must be readily available during the entire time of the event
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email or by calling 218-998-8555 or 218-367-6300. 

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