Hunter Safety Requirement

Hunter Safety License Requirement

Persons born on or after June 1, 1975 may not be issued a license to hunt in Florida with the use of a firearm, gun (including a muzzleloading gun), bow or crossbow without first having successfully completed a hunter safety course.  Anyone who meets the above description must present a valid hunter safety certification card prior to being issued a hunting license (excluding lifetime licenses). 

Individuals exempted from having a hunting license but born on or after June 1, 1975 are exempted from the hunter safety requirement.  The exemption does not apply to persons with a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing License or anyone hunting on military bases. Completion of a hunter safety course is required by the federal government to hunt on military bases.

Lifetime license holders born on or after June 1, 1975 whose licenses do not indicate that they have completed a hunter safety course must have the hunter safety certification card in their possession while hunting.

Out-of-state Hunters

A hunter safety card or certificate issued for a course completed in another state is accepted in Florida.

Hunter Safety Requirement Deferral
Anyone 16 years or older and born after May 31, 1975 may hunt under the supervision of a qualified hunter without having to complete the state's hunter safety certification. 

Hunters using this Hunter Safety Mentoring Exemption need to be under the supervision of an adult, 21 years old or older, who has a valid hunting license or is exempt from the hunting license requirement and who has met the hunter safety requirement or is exempt from the hunter safety requirement.

Hunters who pass a hunter safety course before their mentoring exemption license expires, and carry their license and certification card can hunt without supervision.

Law enforcement and military personnel

Law enforcement and military personnel are not exempt from the hunter education certification requirement. Gun safety is just one of the twelve subjects that are taught at the hunter safety courses

However, Florida residents in the U.S. Armed Service stationed outside of Florida are exempt from purchasing a license if they are home on leave for 30 days or less. Since they are exempt from purchasing a license, they are exempt from having to take the hunter safety course. When hunting, they need to carry their leave orders with them in case they are stopped by a law enforcement officer. However, once  discharged or if they get stationed in Florida, they will have to take a hunter safety course in order to purchase a hunting license.

Concealed weapons permit safety course

The Commission's hunter safety certificate can be used to apply for a concealed weapons permit (CWP).  The minimum requirement for a CWP is a four hour safety class. The Commission's hunter safety course is a 16-hour course and meets this requirement. Concealed Weapons Permitting is handled by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DOACS).  For additional information, please contact the DOACS Division of Licensing.

More information

Hunter Safety Mentoring Exemption Not a Mobile-Enabled Link.

Register for a course near you. Click on on the map to view and register for courses in your area.

For more information and class schedules Not a Mobile-Enabled Link, contact the nearest FWC regional office Not a Mobile-Enabled Link.

Panama City: 850-265-3676

Lake City: 386-758-0525

Ocala: 352-625-2804

Lakeland: 863-648-3200

West Palm Beach: 561-625-5122



FWC Facts:
Armadillos are not native to Florida, but are now common over most of the state. They like forested or semi-open habitats with loose-textured soil that allows them to dig easily.

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