Get Your Fishing License the Easy Way

By Tom Keer

May 17, 2016

Wondering where to get your fishing license and register your boat? Here are five things you can do online so you’ll be ready for summer fishing fun.

I complain daily about the volume of spam and junk emails, but when it comes to registering my boat and buying a fishing license online, I grin from ear to ear.  Digital technology has made both processes incredibly easy.  

Renew a fishing license online. Online license purchases are a breeze, particularly since there is a record of last year's purchase.  The only change I unfortunately make is in the "weight" section, particularly if I renew when I'm sporting a few extra winter pounds.  A side benefit is that a portion of fishing license sales goes into the Sport Fish Restoration Program, a conservation fund that helps make our resources even better.

Change a fishing license. Buying a license for a new angler coming of age is a thrill.  Of equal importance is the reduced cost for those qualifying for a senior discount.  The convenience of both is a welcomed benefit.

Cross state lines. We anglers are a mobile group, and if the fishing isn't hot at home we take our show on the road.  Getting an out-of-state fishing license for one day, for multiple days, or for the entire year is a breeze.  Here's the best part; if your decision to travel is spontaneous, you don't need to wait for a state office or a tackle shop to open.  Get a fishing license and hit the water for the first-light bite.  

Get Licensed and hit a National Park. It's the 100th Anniversary of the National Parks, and if you have a vacation planned it's easy to get totally set.  Pick a list of parks, check the requirements, and get a fishing license online.  Here's a list of our Top 100 from last year to give you some ideas.

Boat registration. Does anyone like waiting in long lines for a registration?  It's a necessary part of boating, and we will if we must.  But it's much easier to complete boat registration online, particularly since the online video answers all questions as does the state-by-state index.

Breezing through an online boat registration and fishing license process means you'll spend more time on the water than in standing in a line.  It's safe to say we all like that idea. Once you have your fishing license, hit the water and share with us your #FirstCatch!
Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at