Get a Michigan Fishing License

Learn how to get your Michigan fishing license!

Get a Michigan Fishing License
Fishing License

Michigan Fishing Licenses Requirements

In Michigan, everyone ages 17 or older must have a fishing license to fish. You’re required to carry your license and the ID you used to purchase it and show both if requested. You’ll also need a license when you’re targeting amphibians, crustaceans and reptiles in public waters in the state.

While minors under age 17 don’t need a license to fish, they are still expected to follow all fishing rules and regulations. If an adult assists a minor without a license, the adult must have a fishing license. However, an adult doesn’t need a license to assist a minor with certain activities, such as:

  • Help land a fish with a net or their hands
  • Help unhook a fish
  • Set up the fishing rod with gear
  • Bait the hook
  • Cast the line for young anglers as long as the young angler is an active participant while the adult assists

Fishing License Exemptions

There are a couple of exceptions to the fishing license requirements. Developmentally disabled individuals or residents of a home for the aged licensed under the Public Health Code may get a permit from the Department of Natural Resources to fish without a license if they are a member of a group accompanied by 1 or more adults who hold a valid license to fish.

Residents and nonresidents can also fish without paying license fees on Michigan’s free fishing weekends, which happen twice a year.

Types of Fishing Licenses and Fees

There are various types of fishing licenses in Michigan. The fees for the licenses can be changed each year so you’ll want to visit the Department of Natural Resources website for the latest rates. The fees from licenses support the Department of Natural Resources’ efforts to protect and enhance Michigan’s aquatic life and habitats for the benefit of current and future generations.

For 2021, the license types and fees are as follows:


  • Daily Michigan Fishing License: $10
  • Annual Michigan Fishing License: $26 (valid from March 1 of a given year through March 31 of the following year)
  • Annual Senior Michigan Fishing License: $11
  • Annual Legally Blind Michigan Fishing License $11
  • Annual Youth Michigan Fishing License (voluntary): $2
  • Combination Michigan Hunt/Fish License (base, annual fishing, 2 deer): $76
  • Combination Michigan Hunt/Fish License Senior: $43


  • Daily Michigan Fishing License: $10
  • Annual Michigan Fishing License: $76
  • Annual Youth Michigan Fishing License (voluntary): $2
  • Combination Michigan Hunt/Fish License $266

A $1 surcharge is included in the combination licenses, resident annual, nonresident annual, and senior annual fishing licenses that are used to educate the public on the benefits of hunting, fishing and trapping in Michigan, and the impact on the conservation, preservation and management of the state’s natural resources.

For full-time, federal, active-duty U.S. military personnel who have maintained resident status, license fees are waived.

Where to Buy Your Fishing License

The easiest way to get your Michigan fishing license is online on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website. From here, you can purchase a license and also complete other activities like reprinting a lost license.

You can also get a license from one of the state’s license agents. A list is available at Another option is to buy your license at a Department of Natural Resources Customer Service Center near you.

To purchase a license, you’ll need the following:

  • A valid Michigan driver's license or Michigan ID card or
  • A valid driver's license from your state of residency or
  • A DNR Sport card

When you purchase your license online, you can choose to automatically renew it for the following year.