Special Use Permits

Coastal Construction

Apply for Coastal Construction Permit

5 Steps for Your Permit

1

Contact

Contact St. Johns County Building Department for coordination and consultation of building permit (904) 827-6800.

2

View

Watch the Protected Species Training slideshow. Protected Species Training.

3

Quiz

Complete the Quiz. Please save quiz to your pc or mobile device, complete quiz, save, use SUBMIT button or attach to email and send to araybould@sjcfl.us.

4

Complete

Complete and sign the Beach Access Permit application. There are now two ways to submit your application: Print application, complete and sign, scan, and return to araybould@sjcfl.us. Save application to your pc or mobile device and complete, save, use SUBMIT button or attach to email and send to araybould@sjcfl.us.

5

Contact

Email araybould@sjcfl.us with the application and completed quiz.

Need Technical Assistance?

Acrobat Reader is required to view and/or complete the application on your computer and to sign with a digital signature.

If you have technical difficulty with the training, please email webmast@sjcfl.us so that we may assist you.

Ashley Raybould Environmental Supervisor

Habitat Conservation Plan Coordinator

Commercial Fishing

Announcements

Commercial Fishing on County Beaches

From May 1 – October 31 commercial fishermen must obtain a permit by completing Protected Species Training (below) to fish commercially on County beaches. Permits are free. Training must be completed annually.

Apply for Commercial Fishing Permit

5 Steps for Your Permit

2

Quiz

Complete Quiz.
Please save quiz to your pc or mobile device to complete.

3

Complete

Complete and sign application.
Please save application to your pc or mobile device to complete.

4

Come In

Call ahead to make an appointment to obtain permit – only available on Mondays. Bring your signed application and Saltwater Product License with RS endorsement.

Jade O’Neill
3171 Coastal Hwy
St. Augustine, FL 32084
(904) 209-0619
joneill@sjcfl.us
Attn: Fishing Permit

5

Receive Permit

You must arrive in the vehicle you are obtaining a permit for with an annual beach pass affixed to dashboard.

Current annual pass affixed to passenger side of windshield, 4×4 or all wheel drive vehicle (no ATVs, motorcycles, etc.) Annual passes can be purchased at any toll booth from March 1 – Labor Day. Current State Saltwater Product License with Restricted Species (RS) endorsement.

Need Technical Assistance?

Acrobat Reader is required to view and/or complete the application on your computer and to sign with a digital signature.

If you have technical difficulty with the training, please email webmast@sjcfl.us so that we may assist you.

Jade O’Neill Environmental Specialist
Horseback Riding

Announcements

St. Johns County Beach Riding Updates 

  • Mickler’s Landing – Suspended – Due to erosion from recent storms.
  • Exxon Beach Access – Open – Beach access is managed by the GTMNERR is open and available for riding. All St. Johns County rules and regulations for riding on the beach will apply. Please contact GTMNERR for parking and access information: 904-823-4500.
  • Surfside Beach Access – Suspended – Due to challenges of parking lot and beach management activities.
  • South Beaches – Open – Frank Butler Park East; 5860 A1A S. Beach entrance by way of Mary Street Ramp. Closes for Designated Spring Break Season Saturday, March 11th – last day to ride, Friday, March 10th.

Horseback Riding on County Beaches

FAQs

  • Cost. Permits are free of charge.
  • Clean Up. Please be considerate by treating the beaches, accesses and parking lots the same way you would your own barn.
  • Want to know where to ride? Get our Map of beach access points and riding beaches.
  • Tides. Please begin your ride 1-2 hours prior to a low tide event and conduct your horses below the most recent high tide line. Tide Predictions Page
  • For more information about horseback riding in St. Johns County, please visit the St. Johns County Horse Council website.

Apply for Beach Horseback Riding Permit

6 Steps for Your Permit

3

Permit Level

Choose your Horseback Riding Permit Level below.

4

Application

Complete and sign Horseback Riding Permit Application

5

Submit

Email joneill@sjcfl.us, Fax (904) 209-0620, drop off, or mail completed quiz, application, and any required credentials:

Jade O’Neill
3171 Coastal Hwy
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Attn: Horseback Riding Permits

On Mobile Devices, you may screenshot your quiz results and text to joneill@sjcfl.us.

6

Receive Permit

It may take up to two weeks to process your permit.
Please review Planning your Ride below.

St. Johns County offers horseback riding on approximately 30 miles of our 41.1 miles of coastline. The County is responsible for implementing and abiding by a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and Incidental Take Permit (ITP) through the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A special permit (follow steps below) is required to ride horses on St. Johns County beaches. Permits are free of charge.

Horseback Riding Permit Levels

Master Beach Equestrian Guide

  1. An individual with extensive riding experience on St. Johns County beaches and intends to ride regularly and frequently.
  2. Must complete Protected Species Training. Must provide no less than three letters of written recommendations from Master Equestrian Beach Guides, or written recommendations by the St. Johns County Horse Council, proof of membership to local riding club (if any), and/or some other proof of extensive riding experience on St. Johns County beaches.
  3. Allows permit holder to lead up to 10 individuals by horseback; permit is valid through 2027.

General Beach Equestrian Guide

  1. An individual intending to ride on St. Johns County beaches regularly and frequently but experience does not warrant a Master Beach Equestrian Guide Permit.
  2. Must complete Protected Species Training and sign completed application
  3. Allows permit holder to lead up to 10 individuals by horseback; permit is valid through 2027.

General Beach Equestrian Day Pass

  1. An individual desiring a one-time or infrequent horseback ride on the beach.
  2. May obtain necessary education and credentials from a Master Beach Equestrian Guide or through online training.

Planning Your Ride

North Beaches

Mickler’s Landing Access – Suspended – Due to ongoing erosion from recent storms.

Exxon Beach Access – Open – Beach access is managed by the GTMNERR is open and available for riding. All St. Johns County rules and regulations for riding on the beach will apply. Parking is available in the fishing dam parking area, if parking is full spots are also available at visitor center. Please contact GTMNERR for more parking and access information: 904-823-4500.

Surfside Park Access – Suspended – Due to challenges of parking lot and beach management activities.

South Beaches

Frank Butler Park East 5860 A1A S. – Open – Beach entrance by way of Mary Street Ramp. Closes for Designated Spring Break Season Saturday, March 11th – last day to ride, Friday, March 10th.

Jade O’Neill Environmental Specialist
North Beach 4×4 Driving

Driving on North Beach

North beach drivers must obtain a permit by completing Protected Species Training (below). Temporary closure of Surfside Park through March 2024, in the interest of public safety. The Surfside Park parking lot will be used as a staging area to store heavy equipment and materials during the beach renourishment project. Pedestrian access to the beach and the restroom facilities at Surfside Park will remain open to the public. Permitted North Beach driving should resume at which time the project concludes.  Surfside Park Closure Map. The general public is not permitted to enter the beach at this location. Permits are free. Training must be completed annually.

North Beach Boundary 4 x 4 Driving Map

Requirements

Current annual pass affixed to passenger side of windshield, 4×4 or all-wheel drive vehicle (no ATVs, motorcycles, etc.) Annual passes can be purchased at any toll booth from March 1 – Labor Day. Preseason beach passes can be purchased at the Tax Collector’s offices, St. Johns County Fishing Pier, and the Recreation & Parks Department.

Apply for North Beach 4×4 Driving Permit

5 Steps for Your Permit

2

Quiz

Complete Quiz.
Please save quiz to your pc or mobile device to complete.

3

Complete

Complete and sign application.
Please save quiz to your pc or mobile device to complete.

4

Come In

Vehicle Inspection Appointments – Are only available on Mondays. Please call (904) 209-0619 to schedule your appointment. 
Bring your application and arrive in the vehicle you are obtaining a permit for with an annual beach pass affixed to windshield. 

Jade O’Neill
3171 Coastal Hwy
St. Augustine, FL 32084
(904) 209-0619
Attn: Beach Driving Permits

5

Receive Permit

You’re ready to go.

Jade O’Neill Environmental Specialist

SPECIAL EVENTS

Special Events on St. Johns County Beaches

St. Johns County Beaches are 41.1 miles of coquina and white soft sandy beaches that are a great place to hold your special event. They make an ideal setting for many occasions, and we welcome weddings, parties, sporting events, surf camps, contests, photography, beach cleanups, and other organized events.

In an effort to keep our beaches well maintained, clean and safe, St. Johns County requires that all special events on our beaches have a Special Event Permit. The permit fees go directly back into preserving our beaches and keeping the public protected.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with our beaches and available amenities, as well as the tides, so you can be sure your event will be as perfect as possible.

For more information, please see How to Apply for a Special Event Permit and Special Event Permit FAQs pages below. After reviewing this information, if you still have questions, please contact Beach Services by phone at (904) 209-0331 or by email at beaches@sjcfl.us.

Special Event Permitting

How to Apply for a Special Event Permit

1

Plan

We recommend scheduling your event as close as possible to low tide in order to give yourself more room on the sand for guests/participants and any event items. Visit the Tides page to plan the time of day for your special event.

Please be advised, for events on beaches managed by St Johns County:

  • If more than 100 people will be in attendance portable restrooms may be required.
  • If more than 150 people are in attendance law enforcement must be provided. For more information and for scheduling, please email the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office at events@sjso.org.
  • Events involving over 200 participants require special approval from the Recreation Advisory Board and the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners. Please plan accordingly as this may take up to 3 months for approval.

2

Select Location, Date and Time

You would be required to contact the GTMNER (Guana)Anastasia State Park, the City of St Augustine Beach, and Fort Matanzas National Monument directly if you would like to host a special event on their property. Please contact Beach Services by phone at 904-209-0331 or by email at beaches@sjcfl.us if you are unsure which jurisdiction your requested location is in.

3

Create an Account

Special event permits, for events on beaches managed by St Johns County, can be applied for through our Online Reservation System.

You will be required to create an account before applying for your first permit.

If the event organizer is an organization/company, please create an account for the Organization.

If the event organizer is a non-profit organization, proof of Florida State Sales Tax Exempt Status must be submitted before an application is submitted. In order to set up a tax-exempt account, please email a valid DR-14 form to beaches@sjcfl.us after your account has been created but before your reservation application has been submitted. If the DR-14 is not received, we are required to charge sales tax.

4

Pay Reservation Fee

Based on the submitted application, a reservation fee will be charged to your account and payment will be required a minimum of 7 days prior to the event date in order to receive your permit. Please note, fees are nonrefundable. Once your application has been approved, you will receive an approved permit. Please ensure you have a copy of the permit with you at the time of your event.

Minor Impact Event are events expecting fewer than 200 participants/guests. 

Major Impact Event are events expecting more than 200 participants/guests. Events involving over 200 people require special approval from the Recreation Advisory Board and the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners. Please plan accordingly as this may take up to 3 months for approval.

Fees:

  • Weddings
    • Minor Impact – $100 plus tax per day
    • Major Impact – $200 plus tax per day
  • Surf Camps- $50 plus tax per week
  • Sporting Events
    • Minor Impact – $200.00 plus tax per day
    • Major Impact – $300.00 plus tax per day
  • Photography – $50.00 plus tax per day
  • Media Filming
    • Minor Impact – $250.00 plus tax per day
    • Major Impact – $350.00 plus tax per day
  • Other Events
    • Minor Impact – $50.00 plus tax per day
    • Major Impact – $100.00 plus tax per day

Special Event Permit FAQs

Are there any locations on the beach where I don’t need a permit?

Permits are required for special events held on any part of St. Johns County’s beaches.

Who do I contact to get a permit?

You will need to apply to the agency responsible for the location you choose. Please contact the managing agencies of Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (State of Florida), Anastasia State Park (State of Florida), City of St Augustine Beach, and Fort Matanzas National Monument (National Park Service), to hold special events at these beaches. Special event permits, for events on beaches managed by St Johns County, can be applied for through our Online Reservation System.

Do I need a permit if there are only going to be a few people attending the wedding?

Permits are required for weddings on all St. Johns County managed beaches no matter how many people are in attendance.

What hours may I hold my event?

During sea turtle nesting season (May 1 – October 31) event items may not be set up before 8:00am and must be removed from the beach by 7:30pm. This includes all chairs, tents, and tables. Outside of sea turtle season, event items may not be left overnight. There is a noise ordinance in effect throughout the entire year.

Can I have a bonfire or tiki torches at my event?

No. Open fires are not permitted on St. Johns County Beaches. If you are using charcoal grills, you must take the coals with you when you leave. Any and all fires and associated debris must be self-contained (have a lid) and removed in the same manner in which they arrived. Please do not place coals in beach garbage cans. It is prohibited for any person to dispose of coal, briquettes, embers or other heated objects on the beach or in trash receptacles.

Can I set off fireworks on the beach?

No. Fireworks are not permitted on the beach.

Can I release balloons on the beach?

No. St. Johns County Ordinance 2022-6 prohibits the release of helium, foil, mylar, biodegradable or photodegradable balloons and sky lanterns into the atmosphere. Their release is very impactful on the environment because the balloons inevitably deflate or the sky lanterns land creating litter and possibly causing animals to ingest or become entrapped.

Are permits required for lessons / camps that are held on the beach?

Yes. Applicants of lessons / camps are required to apply for a special event permit. St Johns County requires organizers of public events or private sporting events using beachfront parks / pavilions to provide proof of General Liability Insurance. Coverage must name St Johns County Board of County Commissioners for one million dollars.

Why are fees associated with permit applications?

Special event permit fees, go directly back into public safety and preserving our beaches.

Can we have alcohol on the beach?

No. Alcohol is not permitted on St. Johns County Beaches.

Things to consider when planning for your event.

Vehicular access, where allowable, is dependent on beach conditions.

Possession of a special event permit does not waive beach entrance fee or pavilion rental fee.

Parking is first come, first served at all off-beach parking locations; saving spaces is not permitted.

If flower petals are to adorn a wedding ceremony, they must be real; plastic or false petals can pose a hazard to native wildlife.

Event items and guests are prohibited from entering sand dunes and conservation zones, 15 feet from base of dune.

Event cannot block driving lane, dune walkover, or other public access.

Event structures cannot remain intact overnight and must be removed promptly after the permitted event.

Permittee shall leave beach in clean and orderly condition, satisfactory to other beach patrons and coastal wildlife.

All trash and recycling shall be placed in the appropriate bins (Grey = trash) (Blue = recycling).

All beach events are subject to beach conditions. If conditions are deemed unsuitable or hazardous the event may be required to be relocated or rescheduled.

Any violations, including violation to the St Johns County Beach Code 2007-19, may lead to a citation and revocation of permit.

Event conditions during Sea Turtle Nesting Season (May 1st- October 31st)

Event items cannot be set up prior to 8AM or after 7:30PM, due to sea turtle nesting activities.

Set up of event may not take place within 30 feet of marked sea turtle nests. Nests are demarcated by 4 stakes and yellow placard.

If a sea turtle nesting incident occurs during your event, please contact the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office through their non-emergency number, 904-824-8304.

Artificial lighting is prohibited after 7:30pm. If flashlights will be used, a sea turtle friendly filter must be applied.

If take-down of event items requires vehicular access, please note, beach driving is not permitted after 7:30PM.

Any violations, including violation to the St Johns County Beach Code 2007-19, may lead to a citation and revocation of permit.

SJC Beach Services