• Board for Branch Pilots

    The Board for Branch Pilots licenses the pilots responsible for safe passage of ships in Virginia's major shipping lanes and waterways. The Circuit Courts of Hampton, Norfolk, and Portsmouth appoint individuals to the nine-member Board, which was created in 1783 and initially chartered by the King of England in the 1600s.

    Board Office  (804) 367-8514
    FAX  (866) 465-6206
    Email  BranchPilots@dpor.virginia.gov 
  • Meetings & Minutes

    Sign up for email notification of regulatory action and meetings by registering here.

    The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall provides access to the board's meeting schedule, agendas, and past meeting minutes.

    Visit the Town Hall: http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewboard.cfm?boardid=9&display=meetings 

    Education & Exams

    The Virginia Pilot Association oversees the apprenticeship program for branch pilots. The Board's Examining Committee administers examinations to candidates during the apprenticeship program.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How do I contact the Board office? 
    2. When I call the Board office, will I be able to speak directly with a Board member? 
    3. How do I contact the Virginia Pilot Association? 

    How do I contact the Board office?

    You may reach the Board office by phone at 804-367-8514, by FAX at (866) 465-6206, or by e-mail at BranchPilots@dpor.virginia.gov.Additionally, if you have information that you would like to mail to the Board, please send it to:
    Board for Branch Pilots
    Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
    9960 Mayland Drive
    Richmond, VA 23233

    When I call the Board office, will I be able to speak directly with a Board member?

    No. The Board members do not work in the Board office. They come into the Board offices for Board meetings and hearings, but are not here on a daily basis.
    Board office staff members can answer your questions and are trained to process all information that comes into the Board office. Please do not contact Board members directly.

    How do I contact the Virginia Pilot Association?

    By telephone at (757) 496-0995 or by mail at: 3329 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

    Board for Branch Pilots

    Board Executive Director

    Kathleen (Kate) R. Nosbish

    Board Member Roster

    I. Vincent Behm, Jr.
    Robert H. Callis, III
    Licensed Branch Pilot
    Virginia Beach
    J. William Cofer | Board Vice President
    Licensed Branch Pilot
    Virginia Beach
    Julian Wythe Whiting Chisman, III
    Licensed Branch Pilot
    Virginia Beach
    Thomas P. Host, III
    Patrick B. McDermott
    E. Waightstill Avery
    Licensed Branch Pilot
    Christine N. Piersall
    Meade G. Stone, Jr. | Board President
    Virginia Beach

    Board members are appointed by the circuit courts of the cities of Hampton, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. 

    Laws & Regulations

    Sign up for email notification of regulatory action and meetings by registering here.
    Pending regulatory action (proposed changes, public hearings, etc.) 

    Military and Veterans Services

    DPOR stands ready to assist veterans and active-duty military personnel as they maintain or transition to civilian careers requiring professional credentials.

    Active-duty military personnel and their spouses having served outside the U.S., as well as certain diplomatic service members and veterans, may be eligible to receive up to a five-year extension for meeting license renewal requirements (pursuant to Section 54.1-117 of the Code of Virginia).

    Spouses of active-duty military personnel assigned to a duty station in Virginia are eligible for expedited processing using the Military Spouse Expedited License Application (PDF). A temporary, non-renewable 12-month license for certain military spouses licensed in another state who need more time to meet Virginia-specific requirements is also an option if necessary. [Section 54.1-119

    For honorably discharged veterans, “substantially equivalent” military training, education, or experience may be credited toward certain license requirements (pursuant to Section 54.1-118). In addition, the Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs may reimburse veterans for the cost of license or certification exams. See the VA Pamphlet 22-02-1 for more information.