Where to Buy Fishing License: 8 Facts You Should Know

By Debbie Hanson

Apr 12, 2015

I remember a time, not all that long ago I might add, when one of the only places you could get your fishing license was at the local tackle shop.

I remember a time, not all that long ago I might add, when one of the only places you could get your fishing license was at the local tackle shop. My goodness, how things have changed! As much as some people I know like to moan and groan about technological advances, there are some great benefits that we get to enjoy as a result of modern conveniences.

This is especially true when we're talking about doing a Google search for the terms "where to buy fishing license" and knowing that you will most likely find the information you need at the tips of your fingers. Sure beats making an extra trip to the tackle shop, doesn't it? Plus, the time you save can be much better spent on the water catching fish instead of driving around.

My point? If you just moved to a new state where there are tons of great places to fish and boat, you can get out on the water faster by buying your fishing license from home or "on the go" if you know where to look and what to think about before you make your purchase. Check out these eight helpful facts about where to buy fishing licenses quickly, the types of licenses offered and things to consider before you make your license purchase.

  1. Each state has their own unique set of fishing regulations and offers daily, short-term, annual or lifetime licenses through local license agents in your area (such as tackle shops or outdoor sporting goods stores) or online.

  2. If you have never fished before and want to give it a try before buying a license, check to see when free fishing days will be held in your state. Free fishing days provide beginners with an opportunity to experience the fun of fishing without having to buy a license.

  3. Use the TakeMeFishing.org state fishing license pages to get specific information on where to buy fishing license near you or to find out how to easily buy fishing license online.

  4. There are some states, such as Florida, that provide a toll-free number so you can buy your fishing license by phone. This makes it convenient for anyone to purchase a license anytime from anywhere. The only downside is that there may be a surcharge added to your license purchase. Check with your state agency to find out if you can buy your fishing license over the phone and ask if there are any surcharges that will apply.

  5. Most states don't require a fishing license for those under the age of 16, but be sure to check the fishing regulations or laws in your state to be certain.

  6. Many states offer reduced-fee sport fishing licenses to veterans and seniors. Check with your state agency on the specifics before you buy a license.

  7. Regardless of whether you buy fishing license online or from a local license agent, you will need to have your license with you (or provide proof of license purchase) whenever you go fishing.

  8. When you purchase your license, check with your state agency to see if any additional stamps or supplemental licenses need to be purchased in order to fish for or keep certain species. For example, Tennessee requires a supplemental license in order to fish for trout, and Florida requires that you purchase a stamp if you plan to keep snook.

As always, be sure to read the fishing regulations and rules that apply in your state. Then, once you have purchased your fishing license, check out a few of the useful fishing tips on our "How to Fish" pages.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.