Mail the following items to:
Program of Vertebrate Paleontology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7800, USA
- Your name (as it appears on the permit) and your permit number (listed on your permit card).
- Check or money order for $5.00* in U.S. currency payable to the University of Florida. If you are renewing two or more permits, just send one check for the total amount, not multiple checks of $5. PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH.
- If your mailing or email address or phone number have changed, please send updates so we can keep our database current and that your renewed permit will be mailed to your current address.
- If you have not already submitted a signed report form covering the last year your permit was valid, one must be included in the renewal package. Failure to submit a report form will prevent the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology from issuing you a renewed permit.
- If you need your renewed permit(s) urgently, for an extra $5 fee we will scan your permit card and email you a digital file of the scan. This email will be sent on the day we process the renewal, and so will arrive 2 to 5 days before the actual permit card in the regular mail. Include a note stating you want this service and the email address where it should be sent. Please make sure the exact spelling of the email address is correct and legible, e.g. make sure zeros (0) and the letter O cannot be confused, as well as the number 1, the capital letter I, and the lowercase letter L.
*Because of increased postage costs for mail sent to addresses outside the United States, add $1 for shipments of 1 to 3 permits and $2 for shipments of over 3 permits if this applies. This includes Canada and Mexico.
If your permit has expired, it should be renewed (do not apply for a new permit). Even if it was last valid many years ago. If you errantly made vertebrate fossil collections on state land following the expiration date, these must be reported on a report form with a special notation. If you do not remember your permit number or the exact dates when it was last valid, then email the vertebrate paleontology divison and they will look that information up for you.
- Locality information should be as precise as possible. Give name of river and, if known, approximate distance to nearest landmark, such as a bridge, dam, or town. For example, “Withlacoochee River, between 2 and 3 miles up-stream of SR 200 bridge.”
- For each locality, list the vertebrate fossil collected in lots sorted by the type of animal. You can use scientific names (such as “Nannippus”) or common names (such as “three-toed horse”). For each type of animal, list number of items found, such as “3 teeth, 2 toes, 1 limb bone.” Use adjectives such as “partial” and “fragment” when specimens are not complete. For example, the phrase “mammoth tooth” would be taken to mean a complete or nearly complete tooth, while “fragmentary mammoth tooth” would be taken to mean one or a few partial tooth plates.
- List only fossils found on lands owned or managed by the State of Florida. Do not list fossils collected on private land.
- If you have not collected any vertebrate fossils on State of Florida land other than the teeth of sharks, rays, and skates, or have done no collecting at all, submit a signed and dated report form with the phrase “no applicable fossils collected” listed in the Fossils Collected column.
- If you can not identify the specimens you have found, take advantage of the Florida Museum’s identification service, or you can post images of the specimens on your own home page and send us the address of the web site, or send us photographs. Finally, if you have a large number of unidentified fossils collected on Florida state lands under a permit, you can request that a representative of the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology visit your residence and identify them for you.
- Teeth of sharks, rays, and skates do not have to be reported, nor do fossils of plants or invertebrate animals. However, fossil shark vertebrate and stingray tail spines do have to be reported.
- Fossils collected on State of Florida lands under the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology’s permitting system remain the property of the State of Florida until sixty (60) days after receipt of a properly filed report form. The fossils can not be discarded, sold, traded, or defaced until sixty (60) days after receipt by the Program of Vertebrate Paleontology of a properly filed report form. After sixty days, the permittee can dispose of the fossils as they wish, unless they have been requested in writing (either by mail or e-mail) to turn over one or more specimens to the Florida Museum of Natural History who will house the specimens for the State in its permanent research collection.
- Individuals who knowingly misrepresent or omit significant discoveries on their report form are in violation of Florida Statute 1004.576 and subject to the legal and civil penalties listed in that statute. Their fossil collecting permits will also not be renewed for a period that will depend on the seriousness of the offense.
Instructions updated February 17, 2007
Updated October 14, 2022