Minnesota Fishing License 2024: Costs, Types & How To Buy

Use this guide to choose the right Minnesota fishing license for your needs, work out the cost and where to buy your license online or in person.

With more than 5000 lakes and 15,000 miles of fishable rivers and streams, Minnesota offers some great fishing for species, including trout, bass, walleye, pike, and catfish.

Buying the right Minnesota fishing license is central to enjoying the fishing the state has to offer.

In this article, we explain how much a Minnesota fishing license costs, which license type you need, and where to buy your license.

See also: How Much Is a Fishing License (All 50 States)

Who Needs a Fishing License in Minnesota?

Minnesota Fishing Perch
Kids under 16 don’t need a fishing license in Minnesota.

To legally fish in Minnesota, all residents of Minnesota, aged 16 to 89, must have a current Minnesota fishing license unless an exemption applies. You must carry your license when fishing or traveling from an area where you were fishing.

All nonresidents need a license, except those younger than 16, do not need a license if a parent or guardian is licensed.

Here is the license fees page: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/fishing/index.html

How Much Is a Minnesota Fishing License?

Resident fishing licenses in Minnesota cost as little as $12 for a 2-hour period up to $71 for a full-year license. Non-resident fishing licenses in Minnesota cost from $14 (24 hours) to $43(7 days). The tables below explain all the different types of licenses and the cost of each.

Who Is Exempt From Needing a Fishing License in Minnesota?

The following individuals are exempt from needing a Minnesota fishing license:

  • Residents younger than 16, or residents 90 and older.
  • Minnesota residents enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, stationed outside the state, and home on leave (you must carry leave or furlough papers while fishing or transporting fish)
  • A Minnesota resident who has served in federal active service outside the U.S. during the preceding 24 months and is now discharged from overseas duty (you must carry discharge papers while fishing or transporting fish)
  • An in-patient of a U.S. Veterans Administration hospital (form needed to be filled out)
  • A resident of a Minnesota licensed nursing or boarding care home

See also:

Minnesota Fishing License Cost and Types

Longer-term licenses offer additional choices. To begin with, married couples can get a hefty discount when buying licenses together. Furthermore, there are 4 different types of licenses to choose from: Regular, Conservation, Sports, and Super Sports.

  • Regular: The standard package, with regular MN fishing limits.
  • Conservation: Cheaper, but with half the normal fishing limits.
  • Sports: A combined fishing and hunting license.
  • Super Sports: Hunting, fishing, and a Trout stamp all in one.

Resident Fishing Licenses

To qualify as a resident:

  • A person must maintain a legal residence in Minnesota for at least 60 consecutive days before purchasing a license.
  • Residents 21 years of age or older must provide a current Minnesota driver’s license or Minnesota public safety ID card or have a receipt for an application for a Minnesota driver’s license or Minnesota public safety ID that is at least 60 days old.
  • A nonresident under age 21 whose parent is a Minnesota resident is considered a resident.
  • New residents must visit a license agent location or call our Licensing office to have their residency updated before qualifying for resident rates.
License TypeCost
Angling – 24-hour Code 110 (r)$12.00
Angling – 3-year Individual – Code 141 (r)$71.00
Angling – 72 Hour – Code 140 (r)$14.00
Angling – combination (Married Couple) (r) – Code 112$40.00
Angling – dark house rental (r) – Code 120$30.00
Angling – dark house shelter (r) – Code 119$15.00
Angling – individual (r) – Code 111$25.00
Angling – military (r)None
Angling – Netting white tulibee herring (r) – Code 115$10.00
Angling – spearing from dark house (r) – Code 113$6.00
Angling Dark House 3 Year Rental (r) – Code 132$87.00
Angling Dark House 3 Year – Code 131$42.00
Angling Youth Ages 16 to 17 – Code 138 (r)$5.00
Conservation combo angling (r) – Code 106$27.00
Conservation individual angling (r) – Code 105$17.00
Disability permit – angling/spearing permanent (r)None
Disability permit – angling/spearing special annual (r) – Code 107None
Fishing tournament licenseVaries
Lifetime angling renewal (r) – Code 411None
Lifetime Resident Angling, Deer, Small Game, Sports, SpearingVaries
Sports – combination (r) – Code 217$57.00
Sports – individual (r) – Code 216$41.00
Stamp – trout (validation & pictorial) – Code 129$10.75
Stamp – trout validation – Code 128$10.00
Stamp – walleye pictorial- voluntary – Code 135$5.75
Stamp – walleye validation- voluntary – Code 134$5.00
Stamps (collectable)Varies
Sturgeon tag (r) – Code 130$5.00
Super Sports Combination – Code 143$126.00
Super Sports Individual – Code 142$100.00
Minnesota Fishing Bass
Minnesota bass fishing is great fun and highly regarded.

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

Non-residents include anyone who does not meet the definition of a resident.

Non-residents under 16 may either fish under a parent or guardian’s license (including a family license) or must purchase a nonresident youth license.

If fishing under a family license or their own youth license, youth may possess their own limit; if fishing under a parent or guardian’s individual license, any fish kept are counted towards the parent’s possession limit.

License TypeCost
Angling – 14-day couple (nr) -Code 125$54.00
Angling – 24-hour Code 139 (nr)$14.00
Angling – 7-day (nr)- Code 126$43.00
Angling – 72-hour (nr)- Code 127$36.00
Angling – family (nr) – Code 124$68.00
Angling – individual (nr) – Code 121$51.00
Angling – shelter (nr) – Code 116$37.00
Angling – shelter 7-day (nr) – Code 117$21.00
Angling – spearing from dark house (nr) – Code 118$17.00
Angling – Youth Ages16 to 17 or Youth own limit (nr) – Code 205$5.00
Lifetime angling renewal (nr) – Code 415None
Lifetime NR Angling/Small GameVaries
Stamp – trout (validation & pictorial) – Code 129$10.75
Stamp – trout validation – Code 128$10.00
Stamp – walleye pictorial- voluntary – Code 135$5.75
Stamp – walleye validation- voluntary – Code 134$5.00
Stamps (collectable)Varies
Sturgeon tag (nr) – Code 130$5.00

Who Can Purchase Discounted Minnesota Fishing Licenses?

Anglers who meet certain qualifications can obtain a free license if they are:

  • Foreign exchange students with proof of foreign exchange student status. Available from any agent.
  • Residents 16 and older who have a developmental disability or veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability. Available only from the DNR by calling 877-348-0498.
  • Residents who are legally blind, receiving SSI or SSDI, or receiving worker’s compensation for total and permanent disability. Must present a current letter from Social Security stating disability or SSI benefits to any license agent to receive a free license. SSI/SSDI benefit verification is available online atsocialsecurity.gov, by calling 800-772-1213, or at your local Social Security office.
  • Residents receiving disability benefits under the Federal Railroad Retirement Act or U.S. Postal Service. Must present proof of disability benefits. Available at any agent.
  • Residents of a Minnesota licensed nursing or boarding care home, wards of the Minnesota Commissioner of Human Services, residents of state institutions, or inpatients of a U.S. Veterans Administration hospital. Must use the application available from the DNR (888-646-6367).

Special Fishing Licenses in Minnesota

In addition to standard fishing licenses, Minnesota offers special permits for specific fishing activities. These specialized licenses enhance fishing experiences, making Minnesota’s diverse fishing opportunities accessible to a broader audience. You can refer to the Resident and Non-Resident Fishing License tables for a complete list of available licenses.

Where Can I Buy a Minnesota Fishing Licence?

You can buy your Minnesota fishing permit in one of several ways:

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

You can visit the DNR office and buy a physical copy of your license there. They offer personalized assistance and are especially useful for addressing any questions or concerns. Check the official website for a list of office locations.

Phone

Licenses also may be purchased by phone at 1-888-665-4236 (1-MN-LICENSE). You can call at any time of day or night, seven days a week. All purchases must be made by credit card. There is a 3% convenience fee for each phone transaction. For a license that is required to be mailed, the convenience fee is $1.50.

Online

Get your license in the comfort of your own home with only a few clicks of your finger. Just log in to the Minnesota DNR website to purchase a fishing license online. 

Walmart and other Retail Outlets

Licenses may also be purchased at approved vendors throughout the state, including buying a license at Walmart, local tackle shops, and sporting goods stores. A list is available here.

What Happens With Minnesota Fishing License Fees?

In Minnesota, fishing license fees primarily contribute to the management and conservation of the state’s fisheries and aquatic resources. These fees help fund various programs and initiatives aimed at maintaining sustainable fish populations, preserving aquatic habitats, and promoting responsible angling.

Minnesota ice Fishing
Ice fishing is very popular in Minnesota.

Does Minnesota Have Reciprocal License Arrangements With Neighboring States?

Yes, Minnesota has reciprocal fishing license agreements with neighboring states, such as Wisconsin, Iowa (see here for info on Iowa fishing licenses), North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. It does not include the waters of Lake Superior, which are not covered under border water rules.

In Canadian border waters, Minnesota residents or nonresidents fishing with a Minnesota nonresident license may only fish the Minnesota portion of the Canadian border waters. To fish the Canadian portion, you must have a Canadian license and need a Remote Access Border Crossing Permit.

In other border waters, Minnesota residents or nonresidents fishing with a Minnesota nonresident license may fish throughout the defined waters bordering the two states.

Does Minnesota Offer Lifetime Fishing Licenses?

Minnesota fishing licenses will guarantee a lifetime’s fishing from the day you were born, with a sliding price scale. This is available to both residents and non-residents.

Lifetime Licenses need to be renewed every fishing season that starts from March 1 to February 28/29 the following year. 

Age GroupFishingSmall GameSports
3 and under$344$223$522
4 to 15$469$301$710
16 to 50$574$430$927
51 and over$379$274$603

First-time purchase of lifetime licenses is only available at the DNR License Center in St. Paul. Application forms are available online or through the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367. A lifetime license holder who is required by law to have a game and fish license must authorize their participation by obtaining an annual license renewal each year the lifetime license is used. These annual licenses are issued at no fee.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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