We present a fluorescence activation-coupled protein labeling (FAPL) method, which employs small-molecular probes that exhibit almost no basal fluorescence but acquire strong fluorescence upon covalent binding to tag-proteins. This method enables real-time imaging of protein labeling without any washout process and is uniquely suitable for real-time imaging of protein dynamics on the cell surface. We applied this method to address the spatiotemporal dynamics of the EGF receptor during cell migration.