Mooring laws vary from state to state, but it's often not too hard to get the required permit, particularly as a waterfront property owner.
In some places, it's completely unregulated. Anyone who wants can plop down a mooring wherever they want as long as they don't run afoul of the federal CG regs on navigable waterways (that's pretty easy, mooring can't present a hazard to navigation which has been interpreted to mean that you can't drop a mooring in a maintained commercial channel or in any place that prevents access to a navigable water - imagine a string of moorings across the entrance to a bay).
In most places, there is state/local regulation. That is, the state set out some general guidelines and delegated the job of writing specific rules and enforcing/issuing permits to either the local counties or to a state agency.
In busy areas, the state often delegates all authority to a harbormaster.
In NC, since it was mentioned, you get your permit from the Department of Coastal Maintenance - http://dcm2.enr.state.nc.us/rules/Te...a-07h.2200.pdf
From what I hear, it's very easy to get a mooring permit as a waterfront property owner in NC as long as you are not in a busy harbor or right on a federally maintained channel....