Obtaining a D.C. Fishing License

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How to Get a Fishing License in DC

Wondering how or where to get a fishing license in DC? A fishing license is a regulatory mechanism that helps control fishing in an area. If you are in DC, you must apply for a to fish in any Washington waters, whether you are a resident or non-resident.

Even though it's mandatory, getting a fishing license is not a walk in the park. You have to deal with tedious tasks such as filling out forms online or going to offices, or making phone calls to get your DC fishing license. However, with DoNotPay, the application process is much faster, more convenient, and less frustrating.

Who Is Eligible for a DC Fishing License?

Residents or non-residents aged 16 to 64 must have a current DC fishing license to fish for any fish species in any District of Columbia waters. That includes the Virginia shoreline and the National Parkland.

Only those who are below 16 years or above 65 years and older are exempt from fishing without a license. However, they must carry a catch record card every time they go fishing. A catch record card is a type of management tool that helps estimate the recreational catch of certain fish species.

What Are the Different Types of Fishing Licenses?

There are several fishing licenses in the District of Columbia that will give you fishing privileges. These include:

1. Combination License

A combination license is a combination of both basic hunting and fishing license that lets you fish in any fresh or saltwater area. A combination license also lets you fish certain species of fish such as seaweed and shellfish. The validity of the license begins from the date of purchase up to 365 more days.

2. Freshwater License

A freshwater license is a fishing license that allows you to only fish in freshwater bodies.

3. Saltwater License

A saltwater fishing license is a fishing license that allows you to fish in any saltwater spot in DC.

4. A 1-3 Day Combination License

This is similar to a combination license, except it allows you to fish for 8 consecutive days after the fourth Saturday in April. However, you will be required to purchase further endorsements. This license is only for active-duty military personnel who want to use it for gamefish.

5. Shellfish /Seaweed License

The shellfish/seaweed license lets you harvest specific types of fish. You don't need a catch record card for this.

6. Razor Clam License

This license is for those who don't have a combination license or a selfish/seaweed license. It permits you to harvest razor clams. The license is only available annually or for three days only. You don't need a catch record for this.

7. Washington License

This comes with an Annual Combination License with 2 endorsements; Two-Pole and Puget Sound Dungeness Crab.

There is no lifetime Washington DC fishing license. You are required to renew your fishing license after expiry, which is 365 days after the date of purchase.

What Is the Cost of Getting a DC Fishing License?

The Washington Department of Fishing and Wildlife is responsible for charging all the types of licenses needed to fish in different locations within the District of Columbia. The fees go a long way in the management of fishing spots and their amenities. The fees for any DC fishing license vary depending, age, location, and the type of license.

The table below contains a breakdown of the fishing license fees:

ResidentNon-residentResident 70+Resident under 15
Freshwater$29.50$84.50$7.50Annual Combo
Saltwater$30.05$59.75$8.05Annual Combo
Fish Washington$69.55$69.55$69.55Annual Combo
Shellfish & Seaweed$55.35$124.65$55.35Annual Combo
3-Day Combo$19.05$35.55$19.05Annual Combo

How to Get a DC Fishing License on Your Own

If you intend on getting a DC fishing license on your own, consider the following options:

  • Online application
  • Licensed dealers
  • Via phone

1. Online Application

To get a fishing license online, go to the District Department of the Environment's E-Permit system website, sign up, and fill out an application form.

Once you have filled out the form, you need to make payment depending on whether you are a resident or non-resident. If you are a resident, you should pay $10 and $13 for non-residents. The same payment procedure applies to a 14-day pass.

Once you have finished making the payments, you need to wait for an electronic copy of your fishing license to be sent to your email address. If it takes too long, check your spam/junk folder. If you don't receive an email, call the Department of Energy and Environment's Headquarters on 202-535-2600. The phone line operates from 8 am- 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

2. In-Person Application

  • Contact any of the licensed vendors in the Washington Metropolitan area.
  • Meet all the requirements, which include the appropriate age and provide your social security number.
  • Complete the license application form.
  • Pay for the fee via a debit/credit card.
  • Submit your application to the authorized dealer, then wait for approval.

3. Application Via Phone

Make a phone call to the Department of Energy and Environment's main office on 202-535-2600 or 866-246-9453. The phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Processing time for your license can take up to 10 days.

How to Get a DC Fishing License with the Help of DoNotPay

If you want to get your fishing license but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 3 easy steps:

1. Search "fishing license" on DoNotPay and select the state you would like a fishing license for.

2. Indicate whether you are a resident or non-resident, and choose the type of license you want. For example, saltwater vs. freshwater license, three-day only pass, and more.

3. Provide your contact information, a copy of your government-issued ID, and pay the fee required by the state.

Why Use DoNotPay to Get Your DC Fishing License

DoNotPay allows you the convenience of getting a without much hassle. You don't have to set up an appointment at their offices or queue for the license. All you need to do is sign up through your browser, then enter all the necessary information, and we will take it from there.

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