How Long Does It Take To Get A Fishing License?

How Long Does It Take To Get A Fishing License

How Long Does It Take To Get A Fishing License?

Suppose you want to fish, whether, for food, recreation, or commercial purposes, you need a valid license of that state where you want to do fishing. A fishing license permits the local government to manage the environmental harms caused by fishing. The proceedings from fishing license sales go directly for the conservation efforts. You also consider the price of the fishing license or the tax applied to it. 

Requirements For A Fishing License

The requirements for a fishing license vary drastically from state to state, including age. Every state has different rules when it comes to getting a fishing license. You will always need a fishing license no matter what state you are in. However, the type of fishing license can vary. License for minors is at discounted rates or sometimes completely free. Seniors, veterans, the disabled, and other groups may get discounted or free licenses. So you have to make sure that you are buying the right permit. A lifetime fishing license is much more expensive, but it pays for several years. 

At What Age Can We Get A Fishing License?

All the states have their own rules for a fish license. However, these rules change based on the area you decide to fish. Therefore always check the local regulations to determine whether you need a license or not. If you are older than 16 years, you must purchase a fishing license in some states. On the other hand, you can fish without a license in some states until you are 18 years or older. 

The minimum age requirement goes from 10 in Arizona to 18 in Alaska. You don’t have to take a valid ID at all times. Keep that in mind if you don’t need a license, it doesn’t mean that you can fish as you want. You should follow all the rules irrespective of your age. If you’re going to teach someone, you require a license even if the student does not. 

Time Required To Get A Fishing License In The USA

Usually, it takes 15 business days to process and evaluate your application. After you get your license or qualify for the license based on disability, you may renew your license from any license agent, license sales office, or online. 

Things To Follow With Fishing License Age Requirements

A few things do not change the minimum age requirement for fishing licenses. Some restrictions are implemented on young or old individuals. 

1. Resident Vs. Non-Resident License

Firstly, the age requirements differ for residents and non-residents. Usually, non-residents are needed to purchase a license for fishing. If you are a resident of a state, then the rules of that state will impose on you. Otherwise, you have to purchase a license according to the regulations of non-resident anglers. Non-resident fishing licenses are more costly than residential licenses. States may impose some limitations on non-residents. 

2. Maximum Requirement Of The Age

Besides the minimal age requirement, there can be maximum age requirements. In some states, more than 65 do not require a fishing license. At the same time, some need a license for people aged between 16 to 89. You have to check the local regulations to see the requirements imposed on you. 

3. Parks And Private Property

A fishing license is not needed on private property. But the private body of water mustn’t have any entry or exit to public water. Besides, if you are not the owner of the personal property, you have to take permission from the owner of that area. Some states allow fish to be free in parks. While you will not require a license, you will have to comply with other fishing limitations, e.g., daily bag limits or fish length. 

4. Limits For Underage Individuals

As underage individuals do not need a fishing license, some rules are implemented on them that include:

  • Use of limits on fishing techniques.
  • It imposes limits on fish species that you catch.
  • There are requirements to undergo certification or training before fishing.
  • There are some requirements for supervision from adults.

Ways To Buy A Fishing License In The USA

It is pretty easy to get a fishing license in most states of America. Different states give different options to obtain a permit to fish. Some states use one or two choices to make getting a fishing license even more manageable. 

  • Online 

It is the fastest and the easiest way to get a fishing license. You have to go online and log into the official state department website. The licensing system offers you a license, replacement, and renewal of your fishing documents. Applicants can pay from credit or debit cards. Then the fishing license can be printed at once. Some states send the fishing licenses to your home address if you request. 

  • By phone

It is possible to order specific fishing licenses over the phone. A representative will ask for personal details and a credit card to pay the fees of the license. 

  • In-person

It is another way of getting a fishing license. You have to visit an unofficial license agent, a fishing equipment store, a sporting goods store. You can also buy your license from the local department offices throughout the country. Make sure that you present proof of your residency and identity. 

  • By mail 

If you cannot apply online or in person, you have to apply for a fishing license by mail. You have to send the payment for the license fee and then wait for the fishing document to arrive through the mail. 


There are many things you keep in mind while fishing. Getting a fishing license is quite a simple process. However, you should carefully research the rules and regulations of your state. Keep in mind that fishing regulations also have other limitations except for age. Your state’s requirements also apply to fish species, fishing tools, fishing techniques, and many other related areas related to fishing. 

You should carefully read all the rules of your state’s wildlife department. You have to make sure to get all the different fishing license types that may be available in your state. These may give you many benefits based on specific factors like age, income, and health conditions.