Get a New York Fishing License

Whether you’re going freshwater or saltwater fishing in the state, learn how to get your New York fishing license!

Get a New York Fishing License
Fishing License

New York Fishing Licenses Requirements

If you’re 16 or older, you’ll need a valid fishing license in New York if you’re hoping to catch freshwater fish, frogs or freshwater baitfish – or even to help someone else fish. A license gives you the right to take fish by several methods, including angling, spearing, hooking, longbow, nets, traps and tip-ups.

Depending on where you plan to fish, it's useful to know that a New York fishing license also entitles you to fish certain out-of-state bodies of water, like Lake Champlain in Vermont and the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. The full list of the bordering waters you can fish is available in the state’s Freshwater Fishing Guide.

Once you have a license, you’ll need to keep it with you when you’re fishing and show it to any police or peace officer or anyone in control of the waters where you’re fishing if asked.

If you plan to fish along the coast, anyone 16 or older must enroll in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry if you’re fishing certain species listed on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

Fishing License Exemptions

Several exceptions exist to New York’s freshwater fishing license requirement. You don’t need a license if you:

  • Are a resident-owner, lessee or immediate family member occupying and cultivating farmlands and fishing on your land
  • Hold a farm fishpond license or are an immediate family member
  • Are a resident patient at Department of Mental Health institutions or rehabilitation hospitals, or inmate at Division of Youth rehabilitation center
  • Fishing on licensed fishing preserves
  • Are fishing on one of New York’s free fishing days

Types of Fishing Licenses and Costs

New York offers different fishing license options depending on whether you’re a resident. To qualify as a resident, you must live in New York for over 30 days immediately before the date of your license application. For a lifetime license, you’ll need to show proof of residency for one year.

What are the licenses you can purchase and the cost of a New York fishing license?


  • Lifetime Fishing License (0-69): $460
  • Lifetime Fishing License (70+): $65
  • Annual Fishing License (16-69): $25
  • Annual Fishing License (70+): $5
  • 7-day Fishing License: $12
  • 1-day Fishing License: $5
  • Military/disabled Fishing License: $5
  • Marine Registry Fishing License: $0


  • Annual Fishing License: $50
  • 7-day Fishing License: $28
  • 1-dayFishing License: $10
  • Marine Registry Fishing License: $0

Current pricing for New York Fishing Licenses can also be found here.

Free and Reduced Cost Licenses

Certain individuals in New York can get a free fishing license. These include:

  • Residents who are legally blind
  • Residents who are active service members of the New York State Organized Militia or US Reserve Forces
  • Residents stationed outside of New York who are on active duty and leave in New York for only 30 days
  • Resident patients at US Department of Veteran’s Affairs hospitals
  • Native Americans who are members of certain tribes or the Six Nations living on reservations in New York

These individuals can get their free licenses at any license issuing outlet.

Where to Buy Your Fishing License

Getting your license in New York is convenient, with three different options for purchasing one:

  1. Online: You can sign up on the New York Department of Environmental Conservation website to purchase your fishing license.
  2. By phone: You can call 1-866-933-2257 and place your order over the phone.
  3. At a licensing issuing agent: You can search for an authorized venter on the New York Department of Environmental Conservation website and visit the location in person.