Chapter 237 Barges, Ferries and Wharves

237.080 - License granted without tax, when.

Steven Groce, Attorney Advertisement

If any county commission believe that any ferry in the county is so little used as not to justify the payment of license, they may, in their discretion, give to the keeper of such ferry a license without the payment of any tax; and such commission shall take bond and fix the rates as in other ferries.

(RSMo 1939 § 15305)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14217; 1919 § 5551; 1909 § 6494

237.180 - Number of licenses not limited.

The county commission of the proper county may grant, or not, at their discretion, ferry license for a ferry or ferries on the same side of the river, and in the same county, within any distance of any ferry that shall then be already licensed.

(RSMo 1939 § 15306)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14218; 1919 § 5552; 1909 § 6495

237.190 - Exclusive privilege granted, when.

County commissions may grant to the owner or owners of lands, on both sides of a river, in any county in this state, the exclusive privilege of keeping a ferry thereat.

(RSMo 1939 § 15307)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14219; 1919 § 5553; 1909 § 6496

237.090 - License may be revoked.

If any ferryman fail to perform his duties, the county commission may, at any time, revoke his license.

(RSMo 1939 § 15304)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14216; 1919 § 5550; 1909 § 6493

237.130 - Ferriage, when tendered.

No ferryman shall be compelled to do any act, as such, before payment or tender of his fee be made, according to the rates of ferriage.

(RSMo 1939 § 15296)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14208; 1919 § 5542; 1909 § 6485

237.030 - Tax on license.

Such tax shall not be less than two dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, paid to the use of the state.

(RSMo 1939 § 15288)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14200; 1919 § 5534; 1909 § 6477

237.230 - Penalties, how recovered.

All penalties imposed by this chapter may be recovered before any court having jurisdiction, in the name of the county.

(RSMo 1939 § 15301)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14213; 1919 § 5547; 1909 § 6490

237.020 - Application for license.

Any person may petition the county commission of the county for license to keep a ferry; and if the commission believe such ferry necessary for the accommodation of the public, and that the petitioner is a suitable person to keep the same, it shall order the clerk to issue a license, upon the payment of the tax assessed in such order.

(RSMo 1939 § 15287)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14199; 1919 § 5533; 1909 § 6476

237.120 - Ferriage — rates fixed by county commission.

The county commission shall fix the rate of ferriage at each ferry, and may at any time alter the same, having regard to the breadth and situation of the stream and publicity of the ferry.No change in the rates of ferriage shall go into effect during the continuance of any license.

(RSMo 1939 § 15291)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14203; 1919 § 5537; 1909 § 6480

237.220 - Suit on bond.

Upon the failure of any ferryman to perform any duty herein required, the attorney general or prosecuting attorney for the county shall commence and prosecute an action on the bond given by the ferryman, and the recovery of any penalty shall be no bar to any action on such bond.

(RSMo 1939 § 15302)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14214; 1919 § 5548; 1909 § 6491

237.400 - Interstate compact for barge traffic development on the Missouri River with Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska.

Within sixty days of September 28, 1983, the governor shall act to enter into a compact with the states of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska to read substantially as follows:



The purposes of this compact are to provide for planning for the most efficient use of the waters of the Missouri River to increase the amount of barge traffic on that segment of the Missouri River which flows between and within the compact states, to take necessary steps to develop the Missouri River and its banks to handle more barge traffic than is presently handled, to encourage the use of barges on that segment of the Missouri River for transporting bulk goods, especially farm commodities, to insure that the intended increase in barge traffic does not impose unacceptable damage on the Missouri River in all its various uses, including agriculture, wildlife management, and recreational opportunities, to consider the diversion of the waters of the Missouri River as it affects navigation, and to promote joint action between the compact parties to accomplish these purposes.The purposes of the compact do not include lobbying activities against user fees for barge traffic and such activities under this compact areprohibited.


It is the responsibility of the four states to accomplish the purposes in Article I through the official in each state who is charged with the duty of administering the public waters and to collect and correlate through those officials the data necessary for the proper administration of the compact.Those officials may, by unanimous action, adopt rules and regulations to accomplish the purposes of this compact.


The states of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska agree that within a reasonable time they shall fulfill the obligations of this compact and that each shall authorize the proper official or agency in its state to take the necessary steps to promote the use of barges and develop the Missouri River as it flows between and within the compact states for greater amounts of barge traffic.


This compact does not limit the powers granted in any other act to enter into interstate or other agreements relating to the Missouri River flowing between and within the compact states, alter the relations between the respective internal responsibilities of the government of a party state and its subdivisions, or impair or affect any rights, powers, or jurisdiction of the United States, or those acting by or under its authority, in, over, and to those waters of the Missouri River.The adoption of this compact by the general assembly shall not require the state of Missouri to adopt any legislation or to appropriate funds for its implementation.


Unless this compact is entered into on or before July 1, 1984, the governor shall take no further action to secure the compact.

(L. 1983 H.B. 102 § 1)

237.100 - Keeping ferry without license, penalty.

If any person demand or receive pay for services as ferryman, without a license, he shall forfeit to the county twenty dollars for every day he shall keep such ferry, or be imprisoned not less than ten nor more than thirty days, or be punished by both such fine and imprisonment, to be recovered by indictment or information in the proper court of the proper county.

(RSMo 1939 § 15299)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14211; 1919 § 5545; 1909 § 6488

237.210 - Cities may lease wharf.

Any city, town or other municipal corporation may, for a just compensation, in its discretion, lease to any owner or association of owners of any steamboat, or boats, or vessels, any portion of the wharf or landing of such city or town, for a term of years, for the purpose of maintaining wharf boats thereat for the accommodation of steamboats and merchants and others in the reception and discharge of freights; provided, that no part of any wharf or landing shall be so leased for the use of any particular owner of any boat or boats, or association of owners of boats, if such lease shall give to such owner or association of owners a monopoly of said portion of such wharf or landing, or work a serious injury or inconvenience to other owners of boats landing at such wharf or landing.

(RSMo 1939 § 15309)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14221; 1919 § 5562; 1909 § 6505

237.110 - Liable to action for damages.

Such persons shall be liable to a civil action for all damages that may accrue to the person licensed to keep such ferry.

(RSMo 1939 § 15300)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14212; 1919 § 5546; 1909 § 6489

237.010 - Ferry not to be kept without license.

No person shall keep a ferry, so as to demand and receive pay thereat, without a license.

(RSMo 1939 § 15286)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14198; 1919 § 5532; 1909 § 6475

237.240 - Limitation.

Every offense under this chapter shall be prosecuted within one year.

(RSMo 1939 § 15303)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14215; 1919 § 5549; 1909 § 6492

237.040 - License issued, when.

Upon the production of the receipt of the collector of the county for the tax to such clerk, he shall issue a license to keep a ferry, at the place therein mentioned, for any term not exceeding five years, the said term to be fixed by the county commission in its discretion; provided, that no license shall be issued for a longer term than five years.

(RSMo 1939 § 15289)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14201; 1919 § 5535; 1909 § 6478

237.140 - Rates posted.

Every ferryman shall keep a list of the legal rates of ferriage, printed, or written in a legible hand, constantly posted up at some public place at the ferry or ferryhouse.

(RSMo 1939 § 15297)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14209; 1919 § 5543; 1909 § 6486

237.150 - Failure to post rates, penalty.

If any ferryman fail to comply with the provisions of section 237.140, he shall, for every such offense, forfeit four dollars to the county.

(RSMo 1939 § 15298)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14210; 1919 § 5544; 1909 § 6487

237.050 - Bond required.

Before the delivery of the license such person shall give bond to the state, with sufficient security, approved by such clerk, in such sum as the commission shall order, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties required by law at such ferry; which bond shall be filed in the office of such clerk.

(RSMo 1939 § 15290)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14202; 1919 § 5536; 1909 § 6479

237.170 - Penalty for neglect.

Every ferryman failing to give such due attention shall, for every offense, forfeit five dollars, and for failure to keep such boat in good repair, shall forfeit thirty dollars to the county where the ferry is situated; and he shall be liable for all damages that any person may sustain thereby, to be recovered by civil action in any court having jurisdiction.

(RSMo 1939 § 15295)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14207; 1919 § 5541; 1909 § 6484

237.070 - Continuation of licenses.

Such licenses shall continue until the end of the next term of the county commission; and the tax shall be assessed in proportion to the time for which the license is granted, and in all other respects the clerk and collector shall proceed as upon license granted by the commission.

(RSMo 1939 § 15293)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14205; 1919 § 5539; 1909 § 6482

237.060 - Licenses granted by clerks in vacation.

The clerk of the county commission, in vacation, may grant ferry licenses, assess the tax and fix the rates for the same, and exercise all the power of the commission touching the same.

(RSMo 1939 § 15292)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14204; 1919 § 5538; 1909 § 6481

237.160 - Good boats and sufficient hands to be kept.

Every ferryman shall keep at his ferry a good boat or boats, in good repair, suitable to the water, and sufficient hands to attend on all occasions.