Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Student tour operator is a special designation under the sellers of travel law. Sellers of travel who wish to function as a student tour operator are required to file annually with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and provide proof that they have met the additional student tour operator insurance requirements. Please visit the Sellers of Travel FAQ for information on how to register as a seller of travel.
FDACS is authorized to deny requests for the student tour operator designation for failure to provide all registration requirements or to remove a registrant from FDACS’s list of approved student tour operators for failure to maintain compliance with the registration requirements and required insurance.
Call 1-800-HELP-FLA (432-7352) or 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832) for more information and to request forms.
Select a question below to expand the answer.
What is a student tour operator?
A student tour operator is any resident or nonresident person, firm, corporation or business entity that offers, directly or indirectly, prearranged travel or tourist-related services for groups within the educational community, including school districts, educators, and students and their families, in exchange for a fee, a commission, or any other valuable consideration.
What is the difference between a seller of travel and a student tour operator?
A student tour operator is a special designation under the seller of travel law. Student tour operators must first be registered as a seller of travel and then meet the additional insurance requirement for the student tour operator designation.
Does a student tour operator need a seller of travel license?
Yes, you cannot be a student tour operator without first obtaining the seller of travel license.
Does my company need to be located in Florida to sell student tours in Florida?
No, a student tour operator can be located outside the state but must still obtain a Florida seller of travel license to sell to Florida residents.
What is required for registration?
Student tour operators must be current on all state and local business taxes and submit:
- A completed student tour operator registration form,
- Proof of seller of travel registration and
- Proof of insurance coverage issued by a company authorized to transact business in Florida in the following amounts:
- General liability of at least $1,000,000;
- Professional liability of at least $1,000,000; and
- Workers compensation coverage of at least $500,000 or proof of exemption for fewer than four employees.
- Requests for the student tour designation will be denied if any of the registration requirements are NOT supplied.
Failure to maintain compliance with the registration requirements will result in the seller of travel’s removal from FDACS’s list of approved student tour operators. Approved student tour operators must immediately notify FDACS if, at any time during the registration period, the student tour operator falls out of compliance with the registration requirements and required insurance.
How long is the designation in effect?
Student tour operator designations are valid for one year, just as seller of travel licenses are, beginning the day the designation is granted, unless suspended or revoked for cause. Please note the student tour operator designation is dependent on a compliant seller of travel registration.
What is required for renewal?
Student tour operators must be current on all state and local business taxes and annually submit:
- A completed registration form,
- A completed seller of travel license application,
- Any bond/security requirements, and
- Proof of the required insurance to operate as a student tour operator.
Is there a deadline for application each year?
Prior to the annual expiration of the seller of travel license and student tour operator designation.
Am I limited to sell travel to schools?
No, the statute allows student tour operators to serve students in all primary and secondary school districts but is not limited to schools. See the statutory definition of Student Tour Operator.
Are there any additional requirements for student tour operators?
Yes, a student tour operator and any employee, agent, or independent contractor of the student tour operator whose duties may lead to contact with students must maintain a current Level 2 security clearance with the Florida Department of Education in accordance with the Jessica Lunsford Act, ss. 1012.465-1012.468, Florida Statutes.