Age advantages in the fishing license that you should know

Although every state has different laws regarding recreational fishing licenses and exemptions, there are some age-related perks you should be aware of. For example, if you want to go fishing with your 75 year old grandpa, is there any chance he won’t need a license? Or maybe you want to take your 6 year old niece fishing but not sure if you need to purchase a license for her? Check with your state agency to find out what age is required for a fishing license in your state, and don’t forget to inquire about such fishing license perks.

1. Many states offer discounted license fees (or waive certain licensing requirements) if you are a senior citizen over a certain age. Your government agency can tell you the age limit for the fishing license at your place of residence. Remember, you’ll need to show your driver’s license or state ID to prove your residence and verify your age to see if you meet the age limit for the discounted or waived fishing license.

2. If you are a parent, find out if a lifetime fishing license is available in your state and consider purchasing lifetime licenses for your children. Not only are lifetime licenses a great way to get our youth involved in recreational fishing for the long term, but the cost of a lifetime license is also less than what you would spend on cumulative annual licenses, permits and fees.

3. In many states, children under a certain age do not need a license to fish. Remember, every state also has free recreational fishing days at certain times of the year for kids, parents, and everyone else to enjoy.

4. While not specifically tied to the age-of-fishing license benefits, it is worth noting that several states offer discounted fishing license fees to veterans and active military personnel. This is an opportunity to reward these special athletes for their time in the service of our country and their commitment to nature conservation.

5. Some states offer 5-year residence permits in addition to annual residence permits when you are the age to purchase a fishing permit. Most 5-year licenses offer savings over the annual renewal of an annual fishing license.

Remember, most state fishing license age benefits or exemptions only apply if you meet state residence fishing license requirements. You can buy your state fishing license online, and the required age to purchase a fishing license can be found on the state websites.

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide who lives in southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To find out more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @ shefishes2.


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