How to Become a Fishing Guide in Florida

No individual fishing guide license is required in Florida. But a Boat License is required to carry paying customers (where a fee is paid directly or indirectly) for the purpose of taking, attempting to take, or possessing saltwater fish or organism. Surf fishing and freshwater fishing guides and their customers are subject to Florida’s recreational fishing license requirements. The Florida Wildlife Commission does not require additional guide licenses.

Fishing in Florida

Requirements for Charter and Headboat Operator’s and Guide’s License

  • Comply with U.S. Coast Guard requirements. The U.S. Coast Guard (USGC) requires all operators of for-hire vessels to have a Captain license/Merchant Marine Credentials.
  • Passengers of a charter boat are not required to hold a recreational saltwater fishing license. The boat license covers the passengers, with the exception of scuba divers.

Fees for Boat License

  • Charter captain with 4 or fewer customers: $201.50
  • Charter captain with 10 or fewer customers: $401.50
  • Charter captain with 11 or more customers: $801.50
  • Charter Snook Permit: $10.00
  • Charter Lobster Permit: $5.00

Application Submission

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Charter Captain and Charter Boat licenses and commercial registration can only be purchased at the local tax collector’s office.


Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Farris Bryant Building
620.S. Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
(850) 488-4676

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