BlogFebruary 2021

When Do I Need to Renew My Fishing License?

When Do I Need to Renew My Fishing License?

By Debbie Hanson

Feb 25, 2021

Find out when to renew fishing license requirements. Learn about different short-term, annual, and lifetime fishing license options in different states.

If you have a fishing license or are ready to buy a license for the first time, you might be asking the questions, “When do I need to renew my fishing license?” or “How long is my license good for?” Most fishing licenses have the expiration date printed or displayed on the front of the license, but it helps to learn about the different license types and renewal terms because this information might help you make a better decision on the type of license to buy in the future.

The answer to the question about when to renew a fishing license depends on which state issues the license, the type of license you buy (freshwater or saltwater/state resident or non-resident), and the license duration (short-term, annual, or lifetime). If you want general information on how to get a fishing license, you can get a fishing license online and watch a quick video that walks you through the process.

Short-Term Fishing License

Many states offer short-term fishing licenses that are valid for periods of up to ten days from the date of purchase. California, for example, offers one-day, two-day, and ten-day sport fishing licenses for non-residents that cover both freshwater and saltwater. The state of Florida, on the other hand, offers three-day and seven-day short-term non-resident fishing licenses, but separate licenses are required for freshwater or saltwater. These types of short-term licenses need to be renewed once the set number of days has lapsed.

Annual Fishing License

Annual fishing licenses are generally valid for a one-year period from the date of purchase before they need to be renewed, such as when purchasing an annual saltwater or freshwater licenses to fish in the states of Florida and South Carolina. However, it’s important to check with the specific state agency because some states, such as New Jersey and Texas, specify that fishing licenses are valid from the date of purchase to a set date during the year or at the end of the year (December 31st for New Jersey and August 31st for Texas). In other words, you would renew Texas fishing licenses on August 31st. California’s annual sport fishing license is valid from January 1, through December 31, or for the remainder of the year if purchased after January 1.

Lifetime Fishing License

If you buy a lifetime fishing license for your state, you won’t need to worry about asking, “When do I need to renew my fishing license?” because lifetime licenses are valid for the lifetime of the license holder and can save you money over the long term in license renewals. Keep in mind that non-residents are not eligible for lifetime licenses, and you will still need a non-resident fishing license to fish in any states outside of your home state if you travel to go fishing.

To sum up, confirm when to renew a fishing license for your specific state and depending on the type of license by checking with your state agency.

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 or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.