In most U.S. states, you can buy a fishing license for someone else.
Many times in your life, you’ll want to buy a fishing license for a family member or a friend. It could be before a vacation or when someone’s coming to visit you.
If you need to learn how to buy a fishing license for another person, this guide will provide you with all the information you need.
Why Do You Need A Fishing License?
Here are some reasons why a fishing license is necessary:
Conservation and Resource Management: Fishing licenses help support conservation efforts and the sustainable management of fish populations and their habitats. The revenue generated from fishing license fees is often used to fund research, fish stocking programs, habitat restoration, and other initiatives to preserve and maintain healthy fish populations for future generations.
Regulatory Compliance: Fishing licenses help enforce fishing regulations and rules set by local fish and wildlife agencies. These regulations include catch limits, size restrictions, fishing seasons, and specific rules for different fish species.
Revenue Generation: Fishing licenses contribute to the funding of fishery management programs and conservation efforts. The fees collected from fishing licenses are often used to support various initiatives related to fishery research, habitat improvement, fish stocking, and enforcement of fishing regulations.
Access to Fishing Opportunities: Having a fishing license grants anglers the legal right to fish in designated waters or areas.
It’s important to note that fishing license requirements can vary between jurisdictions. Additionally, fishing licenses often come with certain conditions, such as age restrictions, bag limits, and specific fishing methods allowed. Adhering to these conditions helps ensure responsible and sustainable fishing practices.
When Do You Need a Fishing License?
Generally, a fishing license is required for recreational fishing activities, including freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, and ice fishing.
This includes fishing in public waters such as lakes, rivers, streams, or reservoirs.
Even when fishing in private waters, such as ponds or lakes on private property, a fishing license may still be required depending on local regulations. It’s important to check with the landowner or the local fish and wildlife agency to determine if a license is needed.
In many coastal regions, a separate fishing license or saltwater fishing permit is necessary for fishing in ocean waters, bays, estuaries, and tidal zones. This is in addition to or in place of a freshwater fishing license.
Some jurisdictions require a special permit or endorsement to target specific species, particularly for more regulated or conservation-focused fish species. For example, permits may be needed for fishing for salmon, trout, or certain protected or endangered species.
Fishing license requirements may vary based on the age of the angler. Some jurisdictions exempt children below a certain age from needing a fishing license, while others require licenses for anglers of all ages.
Types of Fishing Licenses
Some common types of fishing licenses include:
- Resident Fishing License: This type of license is typically available to individuals who are residents of the state or province where they intend to fish. Resident fishing licenses are usually valid for a specific duration (ex. annual license) and allow the holder to fish in both freshwater and saltwater within the jurisdiction.
- Non-Resident Fishing License: Non-resident fishing licenses are for individuals who are visiting or temporarily residing in a state or province where they plan to fish. These licenses are often available for shorter durations, such as a day, week, or season, and typically cover both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
- Senior Fishing License: These licenses provide the same privileges as regular resident fishing licenses but at a discounted rate or no charge.
- Disabled Fishing License: These licenses may have specific accommodations or exemptions to support disabled anglers in their fishing activities.
- Youth Fishing License: Youth licenses are typically available at a reduced cost and may have age restrictions or specific regulations.
- Single-Day or Temporary Fishing License: Some jurisdictions offer single-day or temporary fishing licenses for individuals who want to fish for a limited duration. These licenses are often popular among tourists, weekend anglers, or those who fish occasionally.
- Saltwater Fishing License: In coastal regions, a separate saltwater fishing license or permit may be required for individuals who want to fish in marine environments, including ocean waters, bays, estuaries, and tidal zones. This license may be in addition to or in place of a freshwater fishing license.
Can You Buy A Fishing License for Someone Else?
Yes, you can! Almost all U.S. states allow you to buy a fishing license for someone else.
When doing so, ensure that the person you are purchasing the fishing license for is eligible to hold a fishing license in that jurisdiction. This typically includes meeting age requirements and any residency criteria.
Some jurisdictions may require authorization from the recipient before you can purchase a fishing license on their behalf. This may involve obtaining their consent, signature, or other forms of acknowledgment to proceed with the purchase.
Ensure that you have the necessary payment methods accepted by the licensing system, such as credit card or electronic payment options.
Where to Buy a Fishing License?
Some common options include:
- Online: Visit the website of the relevant fish and wildlife agency for the jurisdiction where you or the person you are gifting the license to plan to fish. Look for a section dedicated to licensing or permits, where you can explore options for purchasing a fishing license online.
- Fish and Wildlife Agency Offices: You can often purchase a fishing license in person at the offices or service centers of the fish and wildlife agency responsible for managing fishing regulations in your jurisdiction. These offices are typically located in government buildings, visitor centers, or designated locations.
- Retailers: Some retail establishments, such as sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, outdoor recreation stores, or even convenience stores, may be authorized to sell fishing and hunting licenses. Some of these stores include Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, and Cabela’s retail stores.
- Mobile Apps: In some jurisdictions, mobile applications are available for purchasing fishing licenses.
What Information Do You Need to Buy a Fishing License?
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Contact Information
- Identification (driver’s license or passport)
- Physical Description (when buying the license online)
- Residency Information (If the purchaser is eligible for a resident fishing license, they may need to provide proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or utility bill)
- Additional Documentation (senior licenses may require proof of age, disability licenses may require supporting medical documentation, or non-resident licenses may require proof of non-residency)
Do You Need an I.D. to Get a Fishing License?
In most cases, you need some form of identification to obtain a fishing license.
Acceptable forms of identification typically include:
- Driver’s License
- State Identification Card
How Much Will a Fishing License Cost?
The cost of a fishing license depends on the license type, and it varies from state to state.
- On average, an annual state resident fishing license costs around $25, while non-resident licenses cost $60 to $70.
- Individual residents between 64–66 years of age and above are eligible for a lifetime license for around $9.
- A one-day fishing license for both residents and non-residents costs an average of $10, while a 2-day license costs around $15.
States That Allow You to Buy A Fishing License For Someone Else
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
To Sum Up
All states require a fishing license for fresh and saltwater fishing. A fishing license aims to conserve the aquatic population by preventing overfishing.
If you wish to buy a fishing license for someone else, in most U.S. states you can do so. If you know all the required information, you can buy a fishing license on someone else’s behalf in just a few clicks if you opt for online payment.
Suppose you are traveling from Maryland to California. In that case, you can purchase a fishing license for yourself and your family online or from the respective fishing license issuing point of contact (POC). Different categories of fishing licenses allow you to select the type of fishing license you need.