Harbor Pilots

Harbor Pilots

Amanda “Mandie” Ackermann, Executive Director

The Board of Pilot Commissioners is responsible for licensing and regulating harbor pilots. The board meets regularly to consider applications for licensure, to review disciplinary cases, and to conduct informal hearings relating to licensure and discipline. The board engages in rulemaking to implement the provisions set forth in its statutes and conducts other general business, as necessary.

Reciprocity and Substantially Equivalent Exams

Getting Started in Harbor Pilots

State Pilot

SP – A “state pilot” means any person licensed to navigate all classes of vessels within the channels, waters, harbors, and ports in the State of Florida. A “state pilot” has completed 2 years of deputy pilot service.

Deputy Pilot

DP – A “deputy pilot” means any person authorized by the State of Florida to pilot vessels within the limits and specifications established by the licensed state pilots at the port where the deputy is appointed to serve.

The requirements for becoming licensed in Florida are described in the statutes and rules. Choose a license type to apply.

Examination Information

The Board of Pilot Commissioners specifies that the licensing examination administered by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall pertain to the management of vessels and a knowledge of channels, waters, harbors and ports where the candidate wishes to serve. Unless otherwise specified, questions will deal with typical merchant vessels, full-bodied and relatively low powered, rather than high-powered military vessels with fine lines. For more information, including examination dates and locations, visit the Harbor Pilots Examinations Information page.

Fee Waiver Applications

License Types Continuing Education Requirements Fee Expiration Date
Deputy Pilot Successful completion of a board-approved course in professional skills, including certification in the proper and efficient use of radar. $100 1/31/ODD Year
State Pilot Successful completion of a board-approved course in professional skills, including certification in the proper and efficient use of radar. $200 1/31/ODD Year

Licenses expire January 31st every odd year. However, because the 31st falls on a Sunday this year, the deadline has been extended to February 1st.

DBPR will send you a notification that the renewal period is open, at which time you can renew your license(s). This will be 90-120 days before the expiration. All notices will be provided via mail. We encourage you to keep your information up-to-date and renew online. DBPR online services offer a quick and easy way to renew your license, find license requirements, apply for a license and update a license.

Before midnight EST on February 1st, 2021, you will need to complete the following requirements to renew your license:

  • Pay the renewal fee.
  • Complete a board-approved course in professional skills, including certification in the proper and efficient use of radar.
  • Submit the “Re-establishment Requirements” form.

For more information concerning your license’s unique requirements, please click the relevant link below:

We encourage you to renew online. However, you can mail your renewal form and fee to:
Department of Business and Professional Regulation
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

Print a Blank Renewal Form

Need Help?

All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.

Division of Professions
Board of Pilot Commissioners
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0791

Telephone: 850.487.1395
Facsimile: 850.488.8040