All-Important Details in Obtaining a North Carolina Fishing License

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What You Need to Know About Obtaining a North Carolina Fishing License

Fishing in North Carolina can be exciting because you can have access to ponds, rivers and lakes like Lake James, Lake Norman, Fontana Lake, Jordan Lake, and more. North Carolina's Atlantic Ocean border also gives you saltwater fishing opportunities. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's functions are primarily supported through license purchases in North Carolina. Anyone 16 or older must purchase a fishing license to help preserve fishing for future anglers.

No matter how often you fish or what type of fishing you enjoy, you will likely need a . Fortunately, when obtaining a fishing license in North Carolina, DoNotPay provides the quickest and most convenient service.

Who Needs a North Carolina Fishing License?

Any individual who is 16 years of age or older must have a to use any type of bait or gear to catch finfish in NC public waters, including joint waters.

Some exemptions do apply:

  • Residents who receive Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Work First Family Assistance may obtain a written waiver from the fishing license requirement through the county Department of Social Services.
  • North Carolina residents who are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces outside of NC but are on leave for 30 days or less are exempt from licensing requirements. They must carry their military ID card and leave documentation.
  • Residents or non-residents who have served in the Armed Forces, so long as they can present valid documentation of service during fishing activity
  • Individuals may fish on July 4th, which has been designated as "Free Fishing Day" without a license.
  • North Carolina also has reciprocal fishing license agreements with Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia on certain boundary waters.

What Are the Different Types of Fishing Licenses and How Much Do They Cost?

There are different types of fishing licenses that you can purchase. Tourists, casual fishers, and avid fishers will all have different needs, and individuals who fall into certain categories may be eligible for reduced-fee licenses.

Short Term License

A short-term license is a good option for vacationers, tourists, or other individuals who only want to fish for a short period of time in the state. These licenses are valid for the 10-day period specified on the license. The current prices are listed but are subject to change:

Inland Fishing 10-dayResident: $9Non-resident: $23
Coastal Recreational Fishing 10-dayResident: $6Non-resident: $11

Annual License

If you believe you'll be doing a lot of fishing throughout the year, an annual license may be a better option. Unless otherwise specified, it is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.

State Inland FishingResident: $25Non-resident: $45
Coastal Recreational FishingResident: $16Non-resident: $32
Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational FishingResident: $41Non-resident: N/A
Subsistence Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational Fishing License WaiverResident: FREENon-resident: N/A
Special Device (inland fishing)Resident: $80Non-resident: $530

Lifetime License

The lifetime license is valid for the lifetime of the license-holder and is a good option for avid fishers who want to invest in one license and be done. Eligibility for a senior license in each category is determined by date of birth. Residents born on/before August 1, 1953 may purchase their senior lifetime license when they turn 65 years of age. Residents born after Aug. 1, 1953 are eligible to purchase a senior lifetime license when they turn 70 years of age.

Comprehensive Inland FishingResident: $265Non-resident: N/A
SeniorResident: $16Non-resident: N/A
Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational FishingResident: $477Non-resident: N/A
Coastal Recreational Fishing Adult

(ages 12+)

Resident: $265Non-resident: $530
Coastal Recreational Fishing Youth (ages 1-11)Resident: $159Non-resident: $159
Coastal Recreational Fishing

Infant (under age 1)

Resident: $106Non-resident: $106
Coastal Recreational Fishing SeniorResident: $16Non-resident: N/A
Disabled Veteran Inland FishingResident: $11Non-resident: N/A
Disabled Veteran Coastal Recreational FishingResident: $11Non-resident: N/A
Totally Disabled Inland FishingResident: $11Non-resident: N/A
Totally Disabled Coastal Recreational FishingResident: $11Non-resident: N/A
Legally Blind Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational FishingResident: FREENon-resident: N/A
Adult Care Home Unified Inland/Coastal Recreational FishingResident: FREENon-resident: N/A

How to Obtain a North Carolina Fishing License On Your Own

Are you wondering where to obtain your fishing license? You will apply for your fishing license through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. It's important to note that all licenses are non-transferable. There are a variety of ways in which you can purchase a license.

An additional $2 transaction fee may be mandated by NCGS 113-270.1B.

1. Online. You can purchase a license online. Go to the NC Wildlife Resource Commission's "ALVIN" portal to purchase your fishing license online. Pop-ups must be enabled. You will need to follow instructions carefully, input all required information, and pay by Mastercard or Visa.

2. By Phone. You can pay by phone, Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM through this number, 888-248-6834.

3. In Person. You can pay in person at select Wildlife Service Agents. You will need to search by county, and then check the independent agent to see if they issue fishing licenses.

Let DoNotPay Help You Get Your North Carolina Fishing License Easily

Maybe you are having trouble getting to one of the Wildlife Service Agent locations or getting in touch with the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission during their business hours. Maybe you don't have the time to fill out more forms, or you don't want to give your personal banking information over the phone or put it into yet another online system. DoNotPay understands it can be frustrating to get a fishing license quickly, so we have an alternative solution.

How to get your fishing license using 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 Should You Use DoNotPay to Apply for Your North Carolina Fishing License?

DoNotPay makes the entire process of obtaining a fishing license fast, easy and successful. You don't have to do research, travel to one of their offices, make phone calls, or wait for answers. You simply give us a few important pieces of information, and we take care of the application process.

It really is that easy!

DoNotPay Can Help With Any Fishing License

Whether you want a fishing license in your home state, a saltwater fishing license for your beach vacation, or want to obtain temporary licenses in multiple states as you travel across the country, DoNotPay has you covered. We can help you apply for any type of fishing license in any state quickly and easily.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Helping you obtain fishing licenses is just one of the many things that DoNotPay can do. We can help you resolve other issues, such as:

DoNotPay has the experience and expertise to help you solve problems, so let us help you today!

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