Florida is famous for the quality and diversity of its fishing, which is equal to anything in the US.
Florida takes the need to have a fishing license very seriously, as license fees are used to help authorities manage waterways and ensure healthy fish populations for recreational anglers.
Here is our essential guide to Florida fishing licenses: It gives you all the info on the right license to get, the Florida fishing license cost, whether there are discounts available, what the license covers, and where to buy licenses.
Fishing in Florida
Before we get into the details of Florida fishing licenses, just a brief word on the quality of the fishing in Florida.
Florida offers wonderful coastal saltwater fishing for tarpon, snook, speckled trout, redfish, and a range of pelagic species, and anglers in Florida are responsible for a range of IGFA world records for various species.
Tarpon fishing in Florida is another highlight.
And, of course, Florida offers excellent fishing for Peacock Bass.
Who Needs a Fishing License in Florida?
Who Is Exempt From Needing a Fishing License in Florida?
- Any angler (resident or non-resident) under the age of 16 (see here for info on ages at which you need a fishing license in all states)
- Florida residents who are 65 or older
Fishing License Types in Florida
The price of a Florida license depends on whether you’re a Florida resident or if you’re visiting from out of state. Vacationers can purchase licenses for 3 or 7 days, while residents are eligible for longer-term licenses.
Cost: How Much is a Fishing License in Florida?
For both freshwater and saltwater fishing in Florida, there are various types of licenses that may be right for you depending on the activities you plan to take part in.
As a general guide, an annual freshwater or saltwater license is $17 for residents and a combined fresh and saltwater license costs $32.50 for residents. For non residents an annual freshwater or saltwater license costs $47. There is no combined license for non resident anglers.
Read on for exact prices for all the different types of fishing licenses sold in Florida.
Resident Fishing Licenses
For the purposes of fishing or hunting in Florida, a resident is defined as any person who has declared Florida as his or her only state of residence as evidenced by a valid Florida driver’s license or identification card with both a Florida address and a Florida residency verified by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). You are also considered a resident if you’re an active duty United States military personnel stationed in Florida, including spouses and dependent children residing in the household, with military orders.
You need to provide proof of Florida residency. There are primary proofs such as a Florida Driver’s License or ID Card (with Florida address and residency verified by the Florida DHSMV) and Florida Military Orders (active-duty United States military personnel and their immediate family members also stationed here). There is also alternate proof of residency that Florida residents can use. Check full details of Florida residency here.
|Resident Fishing License Type
|Annual Freshwater Fishing License
|5-year Freshwater Fishing License
|Annual Saltwater Fishing Licenses
|5-year Saltwater Fishing Licenses
|Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing Combination License
|Annual Freshwater Fishing/Hunting Combination License:
|Annual Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing/Hunting Combination License
|Annual Sportsman’s License
|Optional Youth License
|depends on the age when the license is issued
Non Resident Fishing Licenses
These licenses are applicable to all visitors to Florida who want to fish from other states or countries. Non resident licenses are typically more expensive, and you’re not eligible for certain types of licenses and discounts.
|Non Resident Fishing License Type
|Annual Freshwater Fishing License
|3-day Freshwater Fishing License
|7-day Freshwater Fishing License
|Annual Saltwater Fishing License
|3-day Saltwater Fishing License
|7-day Saltwater Fishing License
Hard Card: A hard, credit card-style license can be purchased in addition to purchasing your license or permits. The hard card costs $5 and will be shipped separately (please note your receipt and “hard card shipped separately” to verify this was included). NOTE: Each $5 hard card can hold up to seven different licenses or permits.
Costs: Prices listed on this website include a tax collector’s fee. In addition to the cost of a license or permit listed below, the license or permit vendor may also charge an issuance fee of 50¢.
Who Can Purchase Discounted Florida Fishing Licenses?
The state of Florida offers discounts to active duty and retired members of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Armed Forces Reserve, the Florida National Guard, the United States Coast Guard, or the United States Coast Guard Reserve that are stationed in Florida or claim Florida as their primary residence.
The Military Gold Sportsman’s License, offered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), includes hunting, saltwater fishing, and freshwater fishing licenses as well as deer, wildlife management area, archery, muzzle-loading gun, crossbow, turkey, Florida waterfowl, snook and lobster permits—all for an astounding reduced-fee of $20 annually.
Special Fishing Licenses in Florida
There are a lot of special fishing licenses that you can avail of in the state of Florida, such as recreational licenses, Vessel and Pier Licenses, Combo Licenses for Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing, etc. Read full details here.
Where Can I Buy a Florida Fishing License?
You can purchase Florida licenses and permits in many ways.
You can buy online through GoOutdoorsFlorida.com
Phone and Other Apps
What Happens With Florida Fishing License Fees?
All license fees are used to support the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to help sustain Florida’s fish and wildlife resources. Every license holder is also assisting the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission to recover excise taxes from the Federal government for related items such as fishing tackle and fuel.
Purchasing a Florida fishing license is not only the law but is a great way to help our wildlife management area and contribute to habitat restoration. In return, that means more and better outdoor activities for us to catch healthy fish and have quality hunting experiences.
Does Florida Have Reciprocal License Arrangements With Neighboring States?
Florida has entered into a reciprocal license agreement with the State of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, exempting persons 65 years of age or older from state fishing and hunting license requirements (see here for Alabama fishing license info).
Does Florida Offer Lifetime Fishing Licenses?
Yes. Florida does offer 4 types of lifetime licenses – Lifetime Gold Sportsman’s Licenses, Lifetime Hunting Licenses, Lifetime Saltwater Fishing Licenses, and Lifetime Freshwater Fishing Licenses. You may check the full details about lifetime licenses here.