Get Your Florida Fishing License: Easy Guide

If you want to fish in Florida, you’ll need a valid fishing license. This is true whether you live here or are just visiting. I’ll guide you through getting your fishing license in Florida. We’ll cover the different types of licenses, their costs, exemptions, and where to buy them.

florida fishing license

Getting a fishing license in Florida is easy with many options. You can buy it online at, at a license agent, tax collector’s office, by phone, or through the Fish|Hunt FL app. Most people over 16 need a license to fish in Florida. But, some groups like Florida residents with severe disabilities, military folks visiting home, and those on benefits or food stamps don’t need one.

Key Takeaways

  • Most Florida residents aged 16-65 and all non-residents over 16 need a fishing license.
  • Saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses are available separately or as a combo license.
  • License costs vary based on residency, duration, and type of fishing.
  • Some exemptions exist for certain groups, such as disabled residents and military personnel.
  • Licenses can be purchased online, in person, by phone, or through the Fish|Hunt FL app.

Why You Need a Florida Fishing License

If you plan to fish in Florida’s beautiful waters, getting a fishing license is a must. It’s not just the law, but it also helps protect the state’s fisheries and conservation efforts.

Legal Requirements for Fishing in Florida

All non-residents over 16 need a fishing license in Florida, for both fresh and saltwater fishing. Even if you’re just helping someone fish, you must have a license. Florida residents aged 16 to 65 also need one.

For saltwater fishing, you need a specific license to catch marine life, native or not. Non-residents using beach or haul seines for recreational fishing must get a commercial saltwater products license.

Supporting Florida’s Fisheries and Conservation Efforts

Buying a Florida fishing license helps you follow the law and supports the state’s fisheries. The small fee goes to the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC). The FWC uses this money for:

  • Research on fish populations and habitats
  • Conservation efforts to protect endangered species
  • Improving fishing access and facilities
  • Educating people about responsible fishing

With a fishing license, you help protect Florida’s waters for the future. Your support keeps the state’s fisheries healthy and supports the economy.

Types of Florida Fishing Licenses

Fishing in Florida means knowing about the different licenses you can get. Whether you live here or are just visiting, there’s a license for you. Let’s look at the options:

Saltwater Fishing Licenses

If you want to fish in Florida’s saltwater spots like the ocean, bays, or lagoons, you need a saltwater license. Florida has licenses for both locals and visitors:

  • Annual Resident Saltwater Fishing License
  • Five-Year Resident Saltwater Fishing License
  • Annual Non-Resident Saltwater Fishing License
  • Three-Day Non-Resident Saltwater Fishing License
  • Seven-Day Non-Resident Saltwater Fishing License

Remember, if you’re fishing from the shore, you’ll need a free shoreline license.

Freshwater Fishing Licenses

For fishing in Florida’s freshwater spots like lakes and rivers, you need a freshwater license. There are options for both locals and visitors:

  • Annual Resident Freshwater Fishing License
  • Five-Year Resident Freshwater Fishing License
  • Annual Non-Resident Freshwater Fishing License
  • Three-Day Non-Resident Freshwater Fishing License
  • Seven-Day Non-Resident Freshwater Fishing License

If you’re a Florida resident fishing with bait in your home county for fun, you might not need a license.

Combination Licenses

Anglers who fish in both saltwater and freshwater can get a combo license. It lets you fish in all waters at a lower cost. But, it’s only for Florida residents.

License TypeResidentNon-Resident
Annual Saltwater$17.00$47.00
Five-Year Saltwater$79.00N/A
Annual Freshwater$17.00$47.00
Five-Year Freshwater$79.00N/A
Annual Combination$32.50N/A

Knowing about Florida’s fishing licenses helps you pick the right one for your trips. Whether you live here or are just visiting, there’s a license for you. It also supports Florida’s fisheries and conservation.

Florida Fishing License Costs

The cost of a florida fishing license changes based on where you live, how long you want the license, and what type of fishing you’ll do. Let’s explore the different license options and their prices.

For those who live in Florida, an annual freshwater or saltwater fishing license is $17. A combo license for both costs $32.50. Non-residents can get a 3-day license for $17, a 7-day license for $30, or an annual license for $47.

If you fish from a boat, you’ll need a recreational vessel license for $2,001.50. Pier fishing costs less, with an annual license at $501.50.

Charter boats and captains need special licenses too. Prices depend on how many people you’re fishing with:

  • Four or fewer customers: $201.50
  • Five to ten customers: $401.50
  • Eleven or more customers: $801.50

Some permits and endorsements come with extra fees. For instance, a Saltwater Products License Crew Resident is $150. A Wholesale Seafood Dealer County Nonresident license is $600. Other fees include:

Dead Shrimp Production Permit Nonresident Tampa Bay$1,000.00
Replacement Licenses and Reprints$10.00
Sponge EndorsementFree
Spiny Lobster Trap Certificates/Tags$1.00 each
Stone Crab Trap Replacement Tags$0.50 each
Blue Crab Soft-shell Endorsement$125.00
Stone Crab Trap Replacement Handling fee$8 per transaction
Retail Dealer License Other Location Resident$25.00

Remember, there’s a handling fee for all Internet and phone sales of florida fishing licenses. You can buy licenses online, at tax collector offices, through agents, or by phone. They’re available 24/7 for credit card purchases.

Exemptions and Free Florida Fishing Licenses

Most anglers in Florida need a fishing license, but some groups don’t. These exemptions let eligible people fish for free or at a lower cost. This makes fishing more open to everyone, no matter their age or background.

Age-Based Exemptions

Kids under 16 and people 65 or older in Florida don’t need a fishing license. They must have proof of age and where they live when fishing. This lets young ones start fishing without a license cost and keeps seniors fishing for fun.

Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing License

People with severe disabilities living in Florida can get a free license. It lets them fish like anyone else, without extra cost. They need to show a disability proof from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to qualify.

Military Personnel Visiting Home

Active-duty military folks living in Florida fish for free when they visit home for up to 30 days. This is a thank you for their service. They must bring their military ID and proof of where they live.

Florida Residents Receiving Benefits or Food Stamps

People living in Florida and getting certain benefits or food stamps can fish without a license. This exemption makes sure everyone can enjoy fishing, no matter their money situation. They just need to show they’re eligible for the programs.

Exemption CategoryRequirementsFishing Privileges
Children under 16Proof of ageAll fishing activities
Florida residents 65+Proof of age and residencyAll fishing activities
Disabled Florida residentsProof of disability from APDAll fishing activities
Military personnel visiting homeMilitary ID and proof of residencyAll fishing activities (up to 30 days)
Florida residents receiving benefitsProof of eligibility for assistance programsLand-based saltwater fishing

Additional Permits for Specific Species

Anglers targeting certain species in Florida need extra permits. These permits help manage and protect fish like snook, tarpon, and spiny lobster. They support the state’s fisheries management and research.

Snook Permit

If you want to keep snook during the open season, get a snook permit for Florida. It lets you catch one snook a day, with a size limit of 28-32 inches. The yearly permit costs $10 or $50 for five years, for Florida residents only. These funds help research and manage snook populations.

Tarpon Tag

Tarpon fishing in Florida is catch-and-release, but for an IGFA record, you can buy a tarpon tag for $51.50 a year. This tag allows one tarpon catch per year, under certain rules. It supports tarpon conservation and research.

Spiny Lobster Permit

To catch spiny lobster in Florida, you need a permit. It costs $5 a year or $25 for five years, for Florida residents. Know the lobster harvesting rules, like size and bag limits, and season dates.

Permit TypeAnnual Cost5-Year Cost (Residents Only)
Snook Permit$10$50
Tarpon Tag$51.50N/A
Spiny Lobster Permit$5$25

These permits are on top of your regular fishing license. Getting them and following the rules helps keep Florida’s fisheries healthy for the future.

Where to Get Your Florida Fishing License

If you’re excited to fish in Florida’s vibrant waters, getting a fishing license is the first step. Florida offers many ways to buy your license, making it easy to follow the rules and help conservation. Let’s look at how you can get your fishing license and start your adventure in Florida.

Go Outdoors Florida fishing license purchase

Online at

Buying your Florida fishing license online is easy at This site lets you buy different licenses, like saltwater, freshwater, and combo licenses, from home. Just make an account, fill in the details, and pay online. You’ll get your digital license right away and can print it for your records.

In Person at a License Agent or Tax Collector’s Office

For a more traditional way, visit a license agent or tax collector’s office. Many bait shops, sporting goods stores like Walmart, and local stores sell licenses. The tax collector’s office is often the cheapest place to buy in person. Bring a photo ID, fill out the forms, and pay the fee to get your license right away.

By Phone

If you like to buy over the phone, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-FISH-FLORIDA (888-347-4356). They’ll take your info and payment over the phone. You can get your license mailed to you or get a digital copy sent to your email.

Through the Fish|Hunt FL App

Try the Fish|Hunt FL App for a modern way to buy your license. This app lets you buy and store your license on your phone. Download it from the App Store or Google Play, sign up, and follow the steps to get your license. The app also has fishing rules, species info, and updates, making it great for anglers.

License Purchase MethodAvailabilityProcessing Time
Online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com24/7Instant digital license
In Person at License Agent or Tax Collector’s OfficeBusiness hoursImmediate physical license
By PhoneRegular business hoursMailed or emailed license
Through the Fish|Hunt FL App24/7Instant digital license

Getting your Florida fishing license is easy, no matter how you do it. Buying your license helps follow the rules and supports Florida’s fish. So, get your license, gear up, and enjoy fishing in Florida’s beautiful waters.

Florida Fishing License Renewal and Replacement

If you love fishing in Florida, make sure your license is up-to-date. Your annual fishing license will expire after one year. Renewing it keeps you fishing without any trouble. If you lose or damage your license, Florida makes it easy to get a new one.

Renewing Your Florida Fishing License

Renewing your Florida fishing license is easy. You can do it online at, in person, by phone, or with the Fish|Hunt FL app. Make sure to renew it before it expires to keep fishing.

To renew, you’ll need to give your personal info and pay the fee. The cost depends on the license type and if you live in Florida. For example, a 5-year saltwater license costs $79 for residents, and a yearly combo license is $32.50.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Fishing License

Lost or stolen license? No problem! You can get a new one online at for free. Or, visit a license agent or tax collector’s office for $2.

To replace your license, show your ID and your old license info if you have it. Replacing it fast keeps you in line with Florida’s fishing rules.

License TypeRenewal CostReplacement Cost
Annual Saltwater Fishing License (Resident)$17.00$2.00
Annual Freshwater Fishing License (Resident)$17.00$2.00
5-Year Saltwater Fishing License (Resident)$79.00$2.00
Annual Saltwater Fishing License (Non-Resident)$47.00$2.00
Annual Freshwater Fishing License (Non-Resident)$47.00$2.00

Keep your Florida fishing license up-to-date and with you. This way, you follow the law and help protect Florida’s fish. Renew or replace your license to keep enjoying Florida’s great fishing spots!


Getting a Florida fishing license is easy and key for those wanting to fish in the state. There are many license options for different needs, like residency and how long you want to fish. Whether you’re into saltwater or freshwater fishing, a license lets you enjoy top fishing spots in the country.

Buying a fishing license means you follow the state’s rules and help protect Florida’s fish. The money from licenses goes to important projects like fixing habitats, research, and teaching. Also, knowing about the best fishing times, getting tips from guides, and reading fishing reports can make your fishing better.

As a careful fisher, getting a Florida fishing license shows you care about the future of fishing. It’s great for both experts and beginners. With a license, you open the door to amazing fishing adventures in Florida. So, get your gear ready, get your license, and start your fishing journey in Florida. Tight lines and happy fishing!


Do I need a fishing license to fish in Florida?

Yes, most people need a fishing license in Florida before they can fish. Some groups don’t need one, like those with severe disabilities, military personnel on leave, and people getting certain benefits or food stamps.

What types of fishing licenses are available in Florida?

Florida has licenses for saltwater and freshwater fishing. Residents can get a combo license for both. This license lets you fish in all types of waters.

How much does a Florida fishing license cost?

The price of a Florida fishing license varies by residency and duration. Non-residents can choose from 3 or 7-day licenses. Residents can get annual or 5-year licenses. Annual licenses for residents cost for freshwater or saltwater. Combo licenses for residents are .50 a year.

Are there any exemptions or free fishing licenses available in Florida?

Yes, kids under 16 and seniors over 65 don’t need a license but must show proof of age and residency. People with severe disabilities get a free license. Military personnel from Florida fishing for up to a month fish for free. Also, those getting benefits or food stamps can fish without a license for land-based saltwater fishing.

Do I need any additional permits for specific species in Florida?

Yes, you need a snook permit to keep one snook a day during the season. It costs a year or for five years. Tarpon fishing requires a .50 tag per year for a chance to keep one tarpon. Otherwise, it’s catch-and-release. Spiny lobster permits cost a year or for five years for residents.

Where can I purchase a Florida fishing license?

You can buy a Florida fishing license online at, at license agents, tax collector’s offices, Walmart, bait and tackle shops, by phone, or through the Fish|Hunt FL app.

How long is a Florida fishing license valid, and how do I renew it?

Florida’s annual fishing licenses last 12 months from when they’re issued. They expire on the date shown on the license. You can renew them at any official retailer. If your license is lost or stolen, you can get a replacement for .

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