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FAQs for Liveries

Where do I send the forms to request a livery permit?

  • The forms and required documents can be e-mailed to, If you choose to utilize regular mail please send to:

FWC Boating&Waterways
Attn: Livery Permit
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

What is a Livery?

“Livery” means a person who advertises and offers a livery vessel for use by another in exchange for any type of consideration when such person does not also provide the lessee or renter with a captain, a crew, or any type of staff or personnel to operate, oversee, maintain, or manage the vessel. The owner of a vessel who does not advertise his or her vessel for use by another for consideration and who loans or offers his or her vessel for use to another known to him or her is not a livery. A public or private school or postsecondary institution located within this state is not a livery. A vessel rented or leased by a livery is a livery vessel as defined in s. 327.02. A "Bareboat" charter vessel is a livery vessel.

What type of vessels make my business require a livery permit?

If the livery business rents Motorboats, PWC’s, Paddlecraft, Sail boats, or Houseboats then the livery business will need a livery permit. 

The term “Bareboat” is not defined or used in Florida Statutes, a person (i.e., owner, agent, firm, broker) is not a livery IF the renter is provided a specific captain and crew at the time of rental/lease contractual agreement. Regardless of if there are multiple individuals to choose from on the contractual agreement, if it’s actually a crew provided rental this is not a livery as you are conducting passenger for hire operations which is exempted from livery regulations.  As a reminder, if the contractual agreement requires the use of specific/named captain and crew you are not truly allowing the renter to select as required for a valid “bareboat” under federal definitions, you would be subject to Federal Regulations and Requirements as a passenger vessel for hire.

When a renter or lessee hires their own captain and crew or operates the vessel themselves as in a valid bareboat charter- the OWNER, AGENT, FIRM etc., is a livery and must comply with livery regulations. (this would include if the owner, agent, firm etc. provides a list for referral of master and crew as required by bareboat charter requirements to which the renter has the option of choosing from the list OR hiring their own credentialed master and crew). Plainly put, if you are a true “bareboat” by federal definition, you are a Livery by State of Florida definition.


Which documents do I need to send to FWC to obtain a livery permit?

We will need a list of your vessels available for rent, proof of insurance coverage in accordance with FS 327.54, local business license or tax receipt if applicable, business creation records (such as Articles of Incorporation, State records,, etc.) if the permit is issued to a business, a copy of a government-issued photo identification card if the permit is issued to an individual, and a completed Livery Permit Certification Form. The Livery Permit Certification Form as well as a Florida Livery Permit Checklist are available online.

Access the Livery Statute (FS 327.54) here: Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine (

How long is my permit active for?

Livery permits will be renewed annually, the expiration date will be set to the business creation date or birthdate of the individual named on the permit.

Can I apply for a renewal permit before the permit due date?

Yes, you may submit the proper paperwork and apply for a renewal permit before the expiration of your current permit. However, the permit will not be active until after the previous permit expiration date.

Is there any cost associated with the livery permit?

No, the livery permit and permit request forms are free.

If I add or remove vessels or my information changes, do I need to update FWC?

Yes, you must inform FWC of any changes within 10 days of the change. You can notify FWC by phone 850-488-5600 or email

Do I have to display my permit anywhere?

You are not required to display your permit, however if you like you can print your permit and display at your business location. You should also have your digital version of your livery permit saved to your mobile or business devices to easily locate it, when requested by a law enforcement officer or customer.

Do I need to display safety information signs at my business location?

Yes, liveries must display boating safety information signs in an area visible to the public. The sign must correlate to the type of vessels the livery rents and must be no smaller than 187 square inches. A printable file of the signs can be accessed at: Motorboat Rental Safety Poster, Houseboat Rental Safety Poster, and PWC Rental Safety Poster or you may request pre-printed signs from FWC Boating & Waterways Section by calling 850-488-5600 or use the AskFWC feature on our website: Service Request - Create Request Page: Ask FWC (

What type of vessels require me to have liability insurance and what is the amount of coverage I need?

All mechanically propelled vessels must have insurance coverage that insures the livery against any accident, loss, injury, property damage, or other casualties. The insurance policy must provide coverage of at least $500,000 per person and $1,000,000 per event.

If your livery consists of only human powered vessels (paddle craft) you are not required to have insurance.

Do I need to take a livery operator’s course or boating education course?

Anyone providing the pre-rental instruction must have a completed FL boating safety education course approved by NASBLA. Any employee of a company that is contracted with FWC in the Temporary Certificate Program must also have a completed the FWC Online Livery Operator’s Course.

Who needs a boating safety education ID card in order to legally operate a vessel?

In order to operate a motorboat of 10 horsepower or greater, Florida law requires anyone who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the FWC.

Florida does not have a "boating license." The Boating Safety Education Identification Card is proof of successful completion of the educational requirements and is valid for life.

Are some people who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 exempt from the above requirements?

Yes, there are some exemptions. The exemptions are listed below.

  • A person licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to serve as master of a vessel.
  • A person operating on a private lake or pond.
  • An operator who is accompanied onboard by a person who is at least 18 years old and possesses the required Boating Safety Education Identification Card, provided that person is attendant to and responsible for the safe operation of the vessel.
  • An operator who is accompanied onboard by a person who is exempt from the educational requirements, provided that person is attendant to and responsible for the safe operation of the vessel.
  • A nonresident who has in his or her possession proof that he or she has completed a NASBLA-approved boater safety course or equivalency examination from another state.
  • A person is operating a vessel within 90 days after the purchase of that vessel and has available for inspection aboard that vessel a bill of sale meeting all the requirements as established in Chapter 328.46(1), Florida Statutes.
  • A person operating a vessel within 90 days after completing an approved boating safety course, as required in Chapter 327.395(1), and has a photographic I.D. and a boater education course completion certificate showing proof of having completed the required boating safety education course. The course completion certificate must provide the student’s first and last name, date of birth, and the date the course was successfully completed.

What is the minimum age to operate a PWC?

No person under 14 years of age may operate a personal watercraft (such as a Jet Ski and WaveRunner) on Florida waters. 

How old must a person be for a livery to rent them a personal watercraft?

18 years of age. A livery may not knowingly lease, hire or rent a personal watercraft to any person who is under 18 years of age. (This refers to the agreement/contract for the rental – not the operation of the personal watercraft. The minimum operation age is 14 years of age.) 

What type of certification of completion of boating safety education (for people who are renting a boat) can a livery accept for an out-of-state visitor?

Visitors from other states (who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1988) who want to rent a vessel of 10 horsepower or greater, are required to have certification of completion of an approved boating safety education course. Florida law allows a visitor from another state to use proof of completion (in the form of a card, certificate or something similar) from another state as long as it meets the standards established by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). Most states (or their contractors) issue certification cards to students who successfully complete an approved course. (The card or certificate should have a statement or logo that identifies the course as having met NASBLA standards.) This applies only to visitors from other states; Florida residents must present proof of completion of a Florida boating safety course (approved by NASBLA and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission).

What are the boating safety education requirements for livery staff?

Any employee delivering information to customers must have successfully completed a boating safety education course (approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission).

Employees providing pre-ride/pre-re y NASBLA and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission).

What are the boating safety education requirements for livery staff? Employees providing the Pre-Rental/Pre-Ride instruction must have completed a Florida Boater Safety Education Course. Proof of completion must be maintained at the rental/business location. Approved Boater Safety Courses can be found on the FWC Boating Safety Courses page.

Is there a specific form to be used for the pre-rental/pre-ride instruction?

Yes, the Pre-rental/Pre-ride Instruction form approved by FWC must be used, you may however include more instruction subjects or expound on the current requirements by using additional materials from your livery.