Get an Ohio Fishing License

Learn how to get your Ohio fishing license!

Get an Ohio Fishing License
Fishing License

Ohio Fishing Licenses Requirements

The Ohio Division of Wildlife aims to conserve and improve fish resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. And one way the state can help protect angling for future generations is through the use of licenses.

In Ohio, you’ll need to purchase a license to fish in the state if you’re 16 or older. This will give you the ability to take fish from the water in Ohio. It’s important to point out that even anglers fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs that are open to public fishing through an agreement or lease with the Ohio Division of Wildlife must have a fishing license. A license is also necessary to take frogs or turtles on public and private property.

Once you get a license, you must have it in your possession while fishing and must show it to anyone on request. Licenses may be displayed using a mobile device.

Fishing License Exemptions

In Ohio, there are several exemptions to the state’s fishing license requirement. The following individuals do not need a permit:

  • People fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs to and from which fish do not migrate
  • Those assisting an angler who has free mobility impaired or blind fishing license, as long as the two people together are using only one line
  • Angler’s fishing or taking frogs or turtles on land and water where they or their parents are tenants on which they live, and from which they derive most of their income from agricultural production on that land (except state-owned lakes)
  • Person fishing or taking frogs or turtles on land and water that they or their parents own, except if the land is in or borders on state parks or state-owned lakes
  • Members of the Armed Forces on active duty while on leave or furlough
  • Those fishing on free fishing days, which, for 2021, are June 19 and 20

Keep in mind that even if you qualify for one of these exemptions, size and bag limits still apply.

Types of Fishing Licenses

Depending on your needs, you have several Ohio fishing license options available to you. This is true whether or not you are a resident.


  • 1-day Fishing License (including an upgrade option)
  • 1-year Fishing License
  • 3-year Fishing License
  • 5-year Fishing License
  • 10-year Fishing License
  • Lifetime Fishing License

To qualify as a resident, you must have lived in the state of Ohio for the past six consecutive months.


  • 1-day Fishing License (including an upgrade option)
  • 3-day Fishing License
  • 1-year Fishing License
  • Lake Erie Fishing Permit (January 1 to April 30, 2021)

For those who may want to purchase an annual license after giving Ohio fishing a try, with the upgrade option, a one-day fishing license may be applied as a credit toward the purchase of an annual license.

Ohio Fishing License Fees

Ohio fishing license fees can change each year but for 2021, the rates are as follows:


  • 1-Day Fishing License: $14.00
  • 1-Year Upgraded from a 1-Day Fishing License: $12.00
  • 1-Year Fishing License: $25.00 ($10 for seniors)
  • 3-Year Fishing License: $54.08 ($28.60 for seniors)
  • 5-Year Fishing License: $90.22 ($47.58 for seniors)
  • 10-Year Fishing License: $180.44
  • Lifetime Fishing License: $468.00 ($430.56 for youth under 16 and $84.24 for seniors)


  • 1-Day Fishing License: $14.00
  • 1-Year License Upgraded from a 1-Day Fishing License: $37.44
  • 3-Day Fishing License: $25.00
  • 1-Year Fishing License: $50.96
  • Lake Erie Fishing Permit (January 1 to April 30, 2021): $11.00

How to Buy Your Ohio Fishing License

In Ohio, you can buy a fishing license at the Division of Wildlife website at or allowed license sales agents throughout the state. If you purchase your license online, they will email it to you after completing the transaction. You don’t have to print the license; you can simply display it on your mobile device if you are asked to present it.

If you want to buy a lifetime license and multi-year license, you can purchase it online as long as you have an Ohio driver's license or state identification associated with the account. Lifetime license buyers can also go to the Division of Wildlife office or mail in a paper application. Proof of age and residency is required at the time of purchase. A multi-year license may also be purchased at an agent location (restrictions apply).