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Frequently asked questions

When do I need to get a freshwater fishing license?

You will need to purchase this type of fishing license if you attempt to take a fish that is either native or nonnative. Depending on whether you would like to have a yearly license or a five-year one, prices will vary. There is also different documentation you must present if you are a resident in the state of Florida or a visitor. Seniors and those under the age of 16 are not required to get a freshwater fishing license.

When do I need to get a saltwater fishing license?

A saltwater fishing license is required for individuals who wish to take or attempt to take saltwater fish, clams, marine plants, crabs, etc. It does not make a difference whether or not the saltwater species was caught in state or in federal waters. The cost of said fishing license varies, depending on numerous factors. Saltwater fishing permits can also range in price.

How long will my fishing license be valid?

Depending on the type of license you decide to get, it may be valid for a year, five years or longer. For example, if you wish to obtain a Lifetime License, you will be able to keep your license for the long term. If you purchase an annual recreational fishing license, it will expire exactly a year after its issue date. The expiration date will be clearly visible on your license.

How can I obtain a fishing license replacement?

You can get a fishing license replacement in numerous ways, including online, by phone and in person. Keep in mind that if you decide to get your replacement over the phone or through the Internet, you will be issued a temporary license number (TAN). Your TAN will be good for 30 days, therefore it is important to carry it with you until you have received your new license. You can expect to receive your new fishing license in the mail within 48 hours.

What documents do I need to present as proof of Florida residency?

In terms of primary proof, you can show your Florida driver’s license or identification card. Either document must have been issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If you are a military member stationed in FL, you can also present military papers. In the event that you do not have a Florida driver’s license or ID card, alternate proof will be accepted. Documentation that is considered alternate proof includes a recent FL Voter Information Card or a FL Homestead Exemption.

Can a disabled resident apply for a FL fishing license?

Yes, any disabled resident can obtain a resident fishing license at no cost. You will simply need to present proof of your disability and residency in the state. Acceptable proof of disability includes documentation from the United States Social Security Administration that states you get disability benefits. Your documentation must have been dated in the past year. If you are 65 or older and have a Florida driver’s license or identification card, you will not be required to obtain a fishing license.

What are Free Fishing Days?

Free Fishing Days are certain dates throughout the year that allows those without a license to partake in fishing in Florida. This is perfect for any individual who would like to be introduced to this activity. The days for license-free freshwater fishing vary from those for saltwater fishing. For 2015, they are as follows:

  • Free Saltwater Fishing Days – First Saturday and Sunday in June, First Saturday in September and the Saturday after Thanksgiving
  • Free Freshwater Fishing Days – First Saturday and Sunday in April, Second Saturday and Sunday in June

Who can obtain a Military Gold Sportsman’s License?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission offers this particular license to those who are current members or retired members of the military. In order to qualify, you must either be currently serving or have served in the United States Armed Forces Reserve, the United States Armed Forces, the United States Coast Guard Reserve, the United States Coast Guard or the Florida National Guard. At the time of application, you must submit proof that you are stationed in Florida or reside in the state.

Are there any visitors who do not require a FL fishing license?

Yes, if you are visiting from out of the state, you will not need to obtain a saltwater fishing license or a freshwater fishing license if you are under the age of 16. As it pertains to saltwater fishing, you will also not need a license if you intend to fish from a for-hire vessel that has a vessel license or if you are fishing on Free Fishing Days. If you wish to freshwater fish, you will not need a license if you are fishing in a pond of 20 acres or less inside a private property. For other exemptions, consult our helpful guide.

Do all people on a recreational fishing boat need to have a license?

No, if you do not intend to fish, then you do not need to have a fishing license. Keep in mind that, if you are not fishing, then you should not assist with the process of netting fish or removing them from the hooks. An officer may ask all members on the boat who are fishing to present proper documentation, in order to ensure that they are, in fact, licensed.