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Gopher tortoise in palmettos

Becoming a Registered Agent is an easy online process which automatically issues credentials. After completing the 10 or Fewer Burrows Permits e-Learning course, Registered Agents can apply for permits on behalf of landowners. Registered agents may also execute on-site tortoise relocations using bucket trapping, hand shovel excavation, and/or live trapping of tortoises authorized under a 10 or Fewer Burrows Permit.

Registered Agents are limited to a maximum of two 10 or Fewer Burrow Permits in a lifetime.

Instructions to Become a Registered Agent

  1. If you have not previously registered in the online permitting system create your user profile.  Please record your user ID and password for future use.
  2. Log in to the online permitting system. 
  3. From the landing page, select "Apply for a New Permit".
  4. From the drop down menu, select "Registered Agent". The Registered Agent status is automatic once you submit the form.

Instructions to Apply for a 10 or Fewer Burrows Permits as a Registered Agent

Before applying for the 10 or Fewer Burrows Permit, be sure you have the following items to ensure a complete application.

  • A site plan showing all construction/development planned for the site (See example below)
  • A gopher tortoise survey map. Survey maps listed in Appendix 4 are required for 10 or Fewer Burrows off-site permit applications and are recommended for 10 or Fewer Burrows on-site permit applications, unless specifically requested by the FWC staff reviewing such applications.
  • An aerial photo showing the project boundaries, the on-site recipient area, the location of the pen (if the tortoises are to be penned), and the silt fencing around the construction area to prevent gopher tortoises from re-entering the construction area. The on-site recipient area must include at least 750 square feet of suitable gopher tortoise habitat that is at least 10 feet wide (e.g., 10 ft by 75 ft). Half of the recipient area must be at least 25 feet from construction boundaries.
  • If habitat suitability in the designated recipient area is not clear from the aerial photo, Google Earth, Google Street View or the county property appraiser’s website, please attach photos representative of the on-site recipient area.

Application Process

  1. From the landing page, select "Apply for a New Permit". 
  2. From the drop down menu, select "Gopher Tortoise 10 or Fewer Burrows". 
  3. Under "Filer Type" located at the top of the application select "Agent or Consultant". 
  4. You will now see a message directing you to a link to complete the e-Learning curriculum.  Click on the link and register for the course.
  5. After reviewing the course material and successfully completing the online quiz, please click on the link provided to continue the application process.  Please note that you may need to re-enter the username and password that you set up for the FWC online permitting system.
  6. You should now be able to complete the application process.
  7. Complete the remainder of the application and submit

Example site plans

Two example site plans with tortoise burrows outside of development area. Items notated on the first plan are home, lawn, silt fence, buffer zone, and burrows. Second plan has building, parking lot, retention pond, boundary, development footprint, silt fence, burrows, and undisturbed green space.

Example site plans. No permits are necessary in these examples as the tortoise burrows are outside of the 25-foot burrow around the development footprint.

Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for Registered Agents for additional information.

Should you need additional assistance, please contact your FWC regional conservation biologist.