Florida Docks

What do you need to know about Florida's dock permit process? What resources are available to you as you start building? Why are land surveyors important to the process?

Nettleman Land Consultants wants to to answer these questions and hopefully help as you build your next Florida dock.

Where do I start?

Know the Laws:
First start with knowing the local laws in your area. There are many environmental protections that exist to keep the wildlife of Florida thriving. The Florida department of environmental protection has a wide variety of guidelines and laws in place. You wouldn't want start building your dream dock only to learn the place you want to put it is the nesting ground for an endangered species. Laws regulate the type of dock, where the dock can be built, and other important information required before you start to build.

What permits are there?

Know the Permits:
Exemptions - A state permit is not required if the activity meets the threshold designated by FL Statutes.

General Permits - Activity that will have minimal impact on the environment or area.

Individual Permits - Any other activity that does not qualify in the other two categories.

What do I need to know before submitting a permit?

Know What you Need:
The DEP provides checklists that walk you through the documents required before submitting your permit.
Artificial Lake or Pond
Artificial Reef
Boat Ramp
Boat Slip Cut from Uplands
Canal or Ditch

What are the specifics?

Authorization Type
Application Electronic
Application “Paper”
Amount of Time to Issue
Exempt Criteria
Over-water structure less than or equal to 1000 square feet.
Used for recreational, noncommercial activities.
Non-Artificial Waterbodies: Sole dock per 65 feet of shoreline.
Artificial Water bodies: No specification on number of docks.
30 Days
General Permit
Over-water structure less than or equal to 2000 square feet.
No more than 2 watercraft.
Minimum of water depth of 2 feet below MLW.
Terminal platform not over seagrassand no mooring over seagrass/resources.
30 Days
Individual Permit
Docks that are not exempt or that do not qualify for a general permit
60 Days

Involved in a florida dock dispute and need an expert witness?

What do I need to know about Riparian Allocation?

Riparian rights are the legal ownership right to the land beneath a body of water.

There are six common law methods of allocating riparian rights among waterfront owners:
1. Round lake method

2. Long lake method

3. Proportionate medial line method

4. Colonial method

5. Property line extension method

6. Proportionate acreage method

The purpose of any riparian survey is to equitably subdivide the riparian rights within a lake, river, or ocean, among the contiguous property owners.

If you want to learn more about the methods of riparian allocation follow the link below!

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Dock?

Like homes, cost varies depending on the type of desired dock. 

Floating Docks: Floating docks can cost anywhere between $15 to $35 a square foot. Some docks come in kits that need to be pieced together and installed. 

Piling Docks: Piling docks can cost anywhere between $20 and $40. Not including installation costs if you’re not doing it yourself. Additional costs may vary depending on the add-ons you choose.

Pre-Assembled Pike Dock: Pre-Assembled docks can $1000 and $2000 but this does not include delivery or installation if you are not installing it yourself. 

Permanent Dock: A permenant dock can cost anywhere from $5000 to $30000 depending on the size of the dock. Installation charges and add-ons can increase that cost. 

Boat Lift: A boat lift can cost anywhere between $5000 and $10000. That does not include assembly. 

How do I apply?

You can apply by visiting the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's business portal.

FDEP Business Portal

Apply for the permit online, or via email at [email protected]

FDEP Resources, Notices, and Forms

Download all the required forms directly from the FDEP website.