How to Apply for a Fishing License
Some of the best days are spent casting a line out in the water, but before you enjoy one of life’s best pastimes, you need to make sure you have a valid fishing license. Without one, you will face a hefty fine if you're caught.
You should also know where you can get a fishing license. Some locations don’t offer all available types of permits, so it's best to check what they have before you visit in person. Depending on the state you plan to fish in, you may be able to get one online.
Let's go over some of the basics of getting a fishing license.
Who is Eligible to Get a Fishing License?
Each state has its own rules regarding who needs one and its age requirements. For the most part, you can expect that every adult will be required to have a fishing license. There are some exemptions in some of the states, though. Some of those could include:
- Disabled individuals
- Active military members
- Veterans of our military branches
If any of these groups need one, oftentimes, there will be a nice discount on the license if it’s not free.
If you plan to fish in a different state than the one you live in, you are required to have a license from the state you are fishing in. As for age, you can typically find it's required for individuals aged 16 to approximately 65 years old. Those younger than 16 may not need one, but they might need to be with a licensed person while they fish.
What Are the Different Types of Fishing Licenses and How Much Will They Cost?
No matter what state you're in, a few different types of fishing licenses will be available. Each state will have its own set of rules that you need to follow. For example, some areas will only allow you to fish certain species during specific times of the year, while others put a limit on how many fish you can catch and keep. Some states will have different fishing licenses for fresh and saltwater angling. Here are some common types of fishing licenses and their general prices.
1. Resident/Non-resident Fishing License
Each state will offer licenses for residents and those who don't live there but want to fish there. Non-resident ones are typically more expensive. There will also be some states that offer family or couple licenses. The price will depend on the length of time you register for.
2. Annual/Short-term/Lifetime Fishing License
If you're only planning on fishing for a week or just a few days, you can usually opt for a short-term license to cover you. If you think you want to fish throughout the year, an annual one would be better. If you're an avid angler, who plans to spend several years reeling in fish, a lifetime license, which usually costs a couple of hundred dollars, could save you money in the long run. Annual licenses generally run from $15-$70, while a short-term license might cost you $8-$20, depending on the age of the person and the state you're fishing in.
3. Freshwater/Saltwater/Sportsman Fishing License
Freshwater fishing takes place in most lakes and rivers of just about any state. A saltwater fishing license will allow you to cast your line in the ocean or sea while wrangling in fish like Tuna or Marlins. If you happen to be a hunter as well as an angler, a Sportsman license will cover you for both fish and any game the state allows, provided you follow their specific rules and regulations. The sportsman license is usually the most expensive one, coming at $500-$800 depending on the area you're going to.
How to Get a Fishing License On Your Own
Obtaining a fishing license can be done in a few different ways. Your state might have:
- A store that can print one out for you
- A county or state office where you can register
- Some states will allow you to purchase a fishing license online through their parks and recreation website
Let’s take a closer look at each method.
|In-Store||In-store may be convenient, but associates are likely busy helping customers find and purchase items, so it can take a while. They are also less likely to have the knowledge to answer any questions you may have. In addition, many stores only offer very basic fishing licenses for angling.|
|Government County Offices||Government county offices might be more knowledgeable and will likely have more options for obtaining a fishing license, but because they offer other services, they can be very busy, and you may have to wait in a line or wait on hold for a considerable amount of time. Calling these offices to register will cost you extra fees, and it will take time for them to take down all your information.|
|County Website||Using the county's website can be time-consuming and difficult to navigate through. You may have to sift through a lot of information to find exactly what you are looking for.|
DoNotPay is the Hassle-free Way to Obtain a Fishing License
Getting a fishing license on your own can be a frustrating and time-consuming process that can leave you feeling both mentally and physically drained. However, there is an easier way out.
DoNotPay can help you get your fishing license with minimal effort and save you a trip to your county office. Our application process is all done online. All you have to do is choose which license you want and pay the fee, and we'll handle the rest.
If you want to get your fishing license but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 3 easy steps:
- Search "fishing license" on DoNotPay and select the state you would like a fishing license for.
- 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.
- Provide your contact information, a copy of your government-issued ID, and pay the fee required by the state.
Once everything's done on the fishing license app, you can download/print your copy of the fishing license and get going on your angling expedition.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do for You?
In addition to obtaining fishing licenses, DoNotPay can help you organize so many facets of your life. Let DoNotPay help you with:
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Spend less time on the mundane. Let DoNotPay handle it and simplify your life.