When do fishing licenses expire?

By Alycia Downs

Dec 23, 2020

Wondering when do fishing licenses expire? Or why do you need one? Learn the basics and get answers to frequently asked questions about fishing licenses.

Before you hit the water, you’ll need to make sure you get a fishing license. You may be wondering why you need a license to fish in the first place. In this article, you’ll learn the basics and discover answers to frequently asked questions such as, ‘when do fishing licenses expire’ or ‘how to renew fishing license’.

A fishing license is essentially a regulatory mechanism that states use to manage their fisheries, both recreationally and commercially, while also providing funding for state conservation, education, and research programs. They are typically managed by the state’s fish and wildlife agency.

Each state has their own requirements and types of licenses which is why it’s important to do your research beforehand. The offerings range widely from single-day to lifetime fishing license options with varying age requirements, activity options, and fishing regulations.

  • How to get a fishing license. You can quickly and easily purchase a license online or in-person at your local sporting goods store. Some state agencies offer apps that allow you to purchase and store your license digitally.
  • When do fishing licenses expire? It depends. Some states’ licenses expire in December while others depend on the type of license you choose. If you’re unsure, check the expiration date printed on your license.
  • How to renew fishing license. Renewing your license online is quick and convenient, especially if your state agency has a digital app where you’ve already stored your information. If you prefer, you can also call or renew in person at a local license vendor such as the tax collector’s office or sporting goods store.
  • Are there any exceptions? Sure! Some states offer exemptions for youth anglers, military personnel and persons with disabilities, and some states even offer free fishing days on an annual basis where no license is needed. That’s one way not to worry when do fishing licenses expire!

Once you’ve checked this important to-do off your list, it’s time to hit the water. Check out our interactive map to discover some great places to boat and fish near you.

Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at tideandtale.com or on Instagram @tideandtale.