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New York Fishing Licenses

Buying a New York State fishing license allows anglers to enjoy over numerous ponds and lakes, more than 70,000 miles of streams and rivers, and several hundred miles of coastal waters. Fishermen of all ages can easily buy a fishing license in NY online or in person at various retailers and agency offices across the state. Qualifying sportsmen can even roll their fishing permits into comprehensive Adventure Passes, to simplify their long-term recreational fishing licensing needs and responsibilities.

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Residents and non-residents alike can make their New York sport fishing license purchases in person, online or by phone. Regardless of how they purchase the credentials, fishermen will need to provide government-issued ID at the time of purchase. Personal ID is necessary to prove eligibility for certain licenses that use age, residency and other qualifiers to assign credentials.

Applicants also need accepted forms of payment at the time of purchase. For online and phone purchases, applicants will need valid credit or debit cards. Fishermen who need or prefer to pay by cash or other methods will need to determine where to get fishing license in person. Fortunately, numerous retailers across the state partner with the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to sell fishing permits, so they are readily available almost everywhere.

To buy online, applicants must create an online account with the DEC's license purchasing site. Anglers who already have hunting license accounts may use their existing accounts to purchase a fishing license. Fishermen who buy online may elect to have their licenses mailed to them or to print their own.

Licenses may be ordered by phone during weekday business hours. Not all types of licenses are available via all ordering methods. Anglers requesting specialty licenses may need to supply secondary or supplemental documentation to demonstrate eligibility when applying.

For more information on how to get a New York State fishing license, download our comprehensive guide.

"How much is a fishing license?" is a common question among New York fishermen. Finding an accurate answer, however, depends upon a number of personalized factors. License cost is determined by:

  • Ages of applicants.
  • Anglers' residency status.
  • License duration.
  • Eligibility for specialty permits.
  • What type of physical license anglers request (e.g. home-printed, retailer-printed or integrated).

Anglers must have been New York State residents for at least one year prior to application to receive resident fishing license pricing. In some cases, non-resident students attending New York colleges and universities full time may also be permitted to buy at resident rates.

Residents and non-residents alike can select from:

  • Single-day passes.
  • Week-long passes (valid for seven days).
  • Annual passes.

These different types of permits range in cost from $5 to $50. In addition, residents can elect to buy lifetime licenses. Lifetime license cost depends on the age of the buyer at the time of purchase. Combination lifetime hunting and fishing licenses are also available to residents.

All New York State fishing permits are freshwater licenses. Instead of a saltwater fishing license, the state maintains a free registry that saltwater anglers must sign up for.

Free or reduced cost licenses may be available to anglers who:

  • Are veterans or active military servicemembers.
  • Disabled or legally blind.
  • Seniors 70 years of age or older.

New anglers may also be interested in fishing preserve licenses, which allow landowners with stocked ponds and their families to fish on their land without licenses.

Did you know? You can purchase an NYS fishing license for as little as one day or as long as a lifetime!

New York's fishing regulations are comprehensive rules and guidelines designed to protect fishermen, waterways and the future of fishing in the state. They cover:

  • Minimum legal fish size.
  • Gear restrictions.
  • Bag limits.
  • Hook and line limits.
  • Licensing eligibility.
  • The operation of fishing preserves, clinics, and free fishing days.
  • Waterway-specific restrictions.
  • Baitfish restrictions.

While anglers do not need to memorize the full body of NYS fishing rules, it is essential that they review all sections related to their planned activities before getting on the water. Moreover, whenever possible, anglers should plan and expect to reference the relevant DEC documents in real-time using their digital devices as necessary.

Fishermen in New York can find out everything they need to know about NYS fishing laws by downloading our informative guide.