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Quick Guide to Florida Dock Permits

by Scott Myers

If you’ve just moved into a waterfront property in Florida, you’re probably very excited about building your new dock and beginning to live the waterfront lifestyle. But, be sure to remember that in Florida there are procedures to follow before you start planning your dream dock.


Here’s everything you need to know about Florida dock permits, why you need them, and the process of obtaining what you need.


Related Blog: The Ultimate Guide to Boating in Sarasota, Florida


Why You Need a Permit for Your Florida Dock

Getting the permit is vital since you need to be in line with Florida rules and regulations. 

For instance, you are allowed to build a dock from the edge of your property over to submerged land considered as state property. The structure you make can include a boathouse, a sitting space, and a fishing area.

Did you know that under the Florida Riparian Land laws, you have the right to have an unobstructed view of the water body? This, among other vital factors to consider, explains why you will need the dock permit, lest you get served.

Where to Get the Permits in Florida

Carrying out construction on marine land falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They term dock construction as low impact projects. Due to the project's menial nature, they hand it over to Florida's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The Types of Permits You Will Need

The DEP will give you a permit on the following three grounds.

  • Exemptions—You will not need a permit if the construction or the activity to be carried out is in line with FL Statute.
  • General Permits—This applies to activities defined as to be having minimal impacts.
  • Individual Permits—It is applicable when the activity does not fit in the two categories mentioned above.

In the case of residential docks, they usually fall in the exempted category. It must be 1000 sq. ft. or less, should be outside protected waters, and its purpose must be non-commercial. A dock cost calculator helps you arrive at an aggregate figure.

A Permit For a Floating Dock

To be in line with the law, you need a green light from the Department of Environmental Protection. They delegate upon all activities you'd wish to carry out on, in, or over water surfaces. The other bodies that dictate all forms of construction in the water bodies include the State Water Management District and the relevant municipalities.  

A floating dock is less expensive compared to a permanent or piped one. The cost varies from $15- $35 per sq. ft. The figure depends on the choice of decking you will go for, bringing the final figure to approximately $1500, inclusive of labor and installation.

If you have any questions or concerns about permits or the permitting process for a new dock, contact Duncan Seawall today. We’d be happy to help answer any questions. 

Complete Permits Guide

marine construction docks waterfront property

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