Pennsylvania Fishing License: Costs, Types & How to Buy

Pennsylvania has some of the best trout fishing and smallmouth bass fishing in the US. The many streams, rivers, and lakes of the Keystone State are a joy to fish. …

Pennsylvania has some of the best trout fishing and smallmouth bass fishing in the US.

The many streams, rivers, and lakes of the Keystone State are a joy to fish.

But to do so legally you need a Pennsylvania fishing license.

In this article, we explain:

  • Who needs a Pennsylvania fishing license
  • Which license you need
  • How much it costs
  • Where to buy it

How Much Is a Pennsylvania Fishing License?

For an annual Pennsylvania fishing license, resident anglers pay $25.47. For non-resident anglers, a Pennsylvania fishing license costs $56.97.

There is a wide range of other licenses spanning different groups of anglers and time frames. We’ve summarized the cost of these in the tables below.

See here for license costs in other states.

Pennsylvania Fishing License Age

In Pennsylvania, anyone aged 16 and older must possess a valid Pennsylvania fishing license to fish in public waters, including rivers, lakes, and streams. The requirement extends to both residents and non-residents.

Here is the license fees page: https://www.fishandboat.com/Fishing/Buy-License/Pages/default.aspx.

See here for the applicable age at which you need to have a fishing license in other states.

Who Is Exempt From Needing a Fishing License in Pennsylvania?

Certain individuals are exempt from the fishing license requirement. These exemptions include:

  • Resident and Non-Resident Youth (anglers under the age of 16)
  • Active Duty Military Personnel
  • Disabled Veterans (see here for other states offering discounts and exemptions for veterans)
  • Residents on Active Duty Outside Pennsylvania
  • Residents Born Before January 1, 1938
  • Mentored Youth Fishing Program Participants
  • Holders of Lifetime Trout/Salmon Permits (exempt from needing an annual trout/salmon permit)
  • Holders of PA Senior Resident Fishing Licenses (residents aged 65 and older are eligible for a free senior resident fishing license)

Pennsylvania Fishing License Cost and Types

Pennsylvania offers several fishing license options to accommodate the needs of different anglers, with varying durations available for both residents and non-residents. There are also multi-year licenses, which allow customers to save money by avoiding annual agent/transaction fees.

Anglers can additionally purchase multi-year trout, Lake Erie, and combo permits to enjoy similar savings. Alternatively, they can choose single-year trout, Lake Erie, and combo permits.

Resident Fishing Licenses

Pennsylvania residents can choose from a variety of fishing licenses depending on their preferences. The most common options include:

CodeType of Fishing License or Permit AgeCost*
101Resident (Annual)16-64$25.47
104Senior Resident (Annual)65 & up$13.22
105Senior Resident (Lifetime)65 & up$76.97
1081-Day Resident (not valid March 15–April 30)16 & up$13.22
0303-Year Resident16-64$72.47
0323-Year Senior Resident65 & up$35.72
0505-Year Resident16-64$119.47
0525-Year Senior Resident65 & up$58.22
06010-Year Resident16 & up$236.97
Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

The 12 Best Walleye Fishing Spots in Pennsylvania: Rivers and Lakes + Map

From the shores of the impressive Lake Erie to the meandering beauty of the Susquehanna River, the waters of Pennsylvania are full of trophy-size walleye, with the natural surroundings being …

Read more

Best trout fishing in Pennsylvania feature image

The 16 Best Trout Fishing Streams in Pennsylvania: Expert Guide

Known as the Keystone State, Pennsylvania is a haven for passionate anglers seeking pristine waters and thrilling trout fishing experiences. With its diverse range of ecosystems, picturesque landscapes, and abundant …

Read more

* Includes issuing agent fee of $1.00 and $0.97 transaction fee.

You qualify for a RESIDENT fishing license if you are a bona fide resident of Pennsylvania. When purchasing a resident fishing license, you must show positive proof of permanent residency by presenting one of the following documents:

  1. valid PA driver’s license
  2. valid non-driver photo identification card
  3. previous year’s Pennsylvania state income tax return showing proof of payment of personal income tax as a resident of Pennsylvania
  4. previous year’s local earned income tax return showing tax paid to a Pennsylvania municipality
  5. a current Pennsylvania voter registration card

All issued resident fishing licenses will remain valid for the year or years for which issued,

regardless of whether the license holder is no longer a bona fide Pennsylvania resident.

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

Non-residents have the option of purchasing annual licenses or shorter-term tourist licenses depending on the duration of their stay:

CodeType of Fishing License or Permit AgeCost*
102Non-Resident (Annual)16 & up$56.97
113Non-Resident PA Student (Annual)16 & up$25.47
1061-Day Tourist ***(not valid March 15–April 30)16 & up$29.47
1033-Day Tourist16 & up$29.47
1077-Day Tourist16 & up$36.97
0313-Year Non-Resident16 & up$166.97
0515-Year Non-Resident16 & up$276.97
06110-Year Non-Resident16 & up$551.97

* Includes issuing agent fee of $1.00 and $0.97 transaction fee.

*** Includes Trout and Lake Erie permits, not valid March 15–April 30.

Who Can Purchase Discounted Pennsylvania Fishing Licenses?

Pennsylvania offers discounted fishing licenses for certain groups. These discounts are available to:

  • Youth anglers: Children ages 16 and 17 can purchase a youth fishing license at a reduced rate.
  • Disabled Veterans: Residents with a disability rating of 60% or more may be eligible for a free Pennsylvania fishing license.
  • Service Members: Active duty military members and honorably discharged veterans may be eligible for reduced-cost fishing licenses.
  • Mentored Youth: Participants in the Mentored Youth Fishing Program can fish without purchasing a license, but they must be accompanied by a licensed adult angler.
  • Low-Income Seniors: Pennsylvania residents aged 65 or older who meet certain income requirements may be eligible for reduced-fee fishing licenses.
  • PA residents who are former prisoners of war (POWs).

You can get these at the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission or county treasurer’s office. Make sure to bring proof of your status along with a valid ID confirming your residence.

CodeType of Fishing License or Permit AgeCost*
101Resident (Annual)16-64$25.47
104Senior Resident (Annual)65 & up$13.22
105Senior Resident (Lifetime)65 & up$76.97
1081-Day Resident (not valid March 15–April 30)16 & up$13.22
119Disabled Veterans Reduced Resident License **16 & up$2.97
122Disabled Veterans Resident Annual License **16-64$0.00
125POW Resident Annual License **16-64$2.97
102Non-Resident (Annual)16 & up$56.97
113Non-Resident PA Student (Annual)16 & up$25.47
1061-Day Tourist ***(not valid March 15–April 30)16 & up$29.47
1033-Day Tourist16 & up$29.47
1077-Day Tourist16 & up$36.97
110Voluntary Youth Fishing License (Annual)Less than 16$2.97
109Mentored Youth PermitLess than 16$0.00
150Trout Permit16 & up$12.47
0333-Year Senior Lifetime Trout Permit65 & up$33.47
0535-Year Senior Lifetime Trout Permit65 & up$54.47
06310-Year Senior Lifetime Trout Permit65 & up$106.97
151Lake Erie Permit16 & up$9.97
151SLESenior Lifetime Lake Erie Permit65 & up$9.97
152Combination Trout Lake Erie Permit16 & up$18.47
1501-Year Trout Permit16 & up$12.47 
1511-Year Lake Erie Permit 16 & up$9.97
1521-Year Combo Trout Lake Erie Permit 16 & up$18.47
0303-Year Resident16-64$72.47
0313-Year Non-Resident16 & up$166.97
0323-Year Senior Resident65 & up$35.72
0333-Year Trout Permit16 & up$33.47
0343-Year Lake Erie Permit16 & up$25.97
0353-Year Combo Trout Lake Erie Permit16 & up$51.47
0505-Year Resident16-64$119.47
0515-Year Non-Resident16 & up$276.97
0525-Year Senior Resident65 & up$58.22
0535-Year Trout Permit16 & up$54.47
0545-Year Lake Erie Permit16 & up$41.97
0555-Year Combo Trout Lake Erie Permit16 & up$84.47
06010-Year Resident16 & up$236.97
06110-Year Non-Resident16 & up$551.97
06310-Year Trout Permit16 & up$106.97
06410-Year Lake Erie Permit16 & up$81.97
06510-Year Combo Trout Lake Erie Permit16 & up$166.97

* Includes issuing agent fee of $1.00 and $0.97 transaction fee. Excludes licenses or permits issued at $0.00.

** Can only be issued if initial license was purchased at a County Treasurer or PFBC office.

*** Includes Trout and Lake Erie permits, not valid March 15–April 30.

Best smallmouth bass fishing in Pennsylvania feature image

The Best 8 Smallmouth Bass Lakes and Rivers in Pennsylvania

When it comes to thrilling angling experiences, Pennsylvania offers a wealth of opportunities for anyone seeking the elusive and spirited smallmouth. With its diverse waterways, beautiful lakes, and winding rivers, …

Read more

Best Bass Fishing in Pennsylvania feature image

The 12 Best Bass Fishing Lakes and Rivers in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a paradise for bass fishing enthusiasts of all levels and offers a wealth of picturesque lakes and rivers that provide prime angling opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned angler …

Read more

Special Fishing Licenses in Pennsylvania

In addition to the standard fishing licenses, Pennsylvania offers special permits and licenses tailored to specific fishing experiences. Some of these include:

  • Trout and Salmon Permit: If you plan to fish for trout or salmon, you will need to add this permit to your fishing license.
  • Lake Erie Permit: For anglers fishing in Lake Erie and its tributaries, a special permit is required.

Resident seniors with a Lifetime License get a few more options for these Permits. They last anywhere from 1–10 years and cost as follows

CodeType of Fishing License or Permit AgeCost*
150Trout Permit16 & up$12.47
0333-Year Senior Lifetime Trout Permit65 & up$33.47
0535-Year Senior Lifetime Trout Permit65 & up$54.47
06310-Year Senior Lifetime Trout Permit65 & up$106.97
151Lake Erie Permit16 & up$9.97
151SLESenior Lifetime Lake Erie Permit65 & up$9.97
152Combination Trout Lake Erie Permit16 & up$18.47
1501-Year Trout Permit16 & up$12.47 
1511-Year Lake Erie Permit 16 & up$9.97
1521-Year Combo Trout Lake Erie Permit 16 & up$18.47
0333-Year Trout Permit16 & up$33.47
0343-Year Lake Erie Permit16 & up$25.97
0353-Year Combo Trout Lake Erie Permit16 & up$51.47
0535-Year Trout Permit16 & up$54.47
0545-Year Lake Erie Permit16 & up$41.97
0555-Year Combo Trout Lake Erie Permit16 & up$84.47
06310-Year Trout Permit16 & up$106.97
06410-Year Lake Erie Permit16 & up$81.97
06510-Year Combo Trout Lake Erie Permit16 & up$166.97

* Includes issuing agent fee of $1.00 and $0.97 transaction fee.

Pennsylvania Steelhead Fishing Feature Image

Steelhead Fishing in Pennsylvania Streams: Erie Tributaries

Nestled within the scenic landscapes of the Keystone State, the streams of the Lake Erie Tributaries provide a haven for one of North America’s most sought-after game fish—the steelhead trout.  …

Read more

Ice fishing Pennsylvania

The 8 Best Ice Fishing Lakes in Pennsylvania (With Map)

Pennsylvania is home to a diverse array of natural wonders, and when winter arrives, the state’s lakes transform into icy playgrounds for avid anglers. Ice fishing enthusiasts flock to these …

Read more

Where Can I Buy a Pennsylvania Fishing Licence?

Obtaining your PA fishing license is a straightforward process. You can purchase one in various ways:

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

You can obtain a fishing license in person at Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) offices across the state. These offices provide personalized assistance and information on local fishing regulations. Check the official website for a list of office locations.

Online

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s online licensing portal is the go-to source for buying fishing licenses online. Simply select the type of license you need, fill in the required information, and make a secure payment.

Walmart and Other Retail Outlets

If you prefer a more traditional approach, you can purchase your fishing license in person at more than 700 license-issuing agents. Many Walmart stores, along with local bait shops and sporting goods stores, offer fishing licenses. To find a licensed retailer near you, consult the PFBC’s Fishing License Agents list.

What Happens With Pennsylvania Fishing License Fees?

The fees generated from fishing licenses play a vital role in supporting conservation efforts, habitat restoration, stocking programs, and other initiatives that help maintain Pennsylvania’s diverse fisheries. These funds also contribute to educational programs, research, and enforcement efforts that protect the state’s aquatic resources and ensure a sustainable fishing experience for all.

Does Pennsylvania Have Reciprocal License Arrangements With Neighboring States?

Pennsylvania has reciprocal fishing license agreements with some neighboring states. These arrangements allow anglers to fish in specified border waters without the need for additional licenses.

Some of the neighboring states with reciprocal agreements include:

If you are fishing in some of the other border areas, make sure to have a valid fishing license for both states or make sure you don’t stray into out-of-state waters. Be sure to check with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission or the relevant agency in your home state for the latest information on reciprocal fishing licenses.

Does Pennsylvania Offer Lifetime Fishing Licenses?

Senior lifetime licenses are available to those persons at any time during the year in which they will become age 65.

Persons who possess a SENIOR RESIDENT LIFETIME license dated before January 1, 1991, are not required to purchase a trout permit. However, a Senior Resident Lifetime license holder who purchased a trout permit or a Combination trout/Lake Erie permit before January 1, 2015, remains exempt from the requirement to purchase a trout permit annually.

CodeType of Fishing License or Permit AgeCost*
105Senior Resident (Lifetime)65 & up$76.97
0333-Year Senior Lifetime Trout Permit65 & up$33.47
0535-Year Senior Lifetime Trout Permit65 & up$54.47
06310-Year Senior Lifetime Trout Permit65 & up$106.97
151SLESenior Lifetime Lake Erie Permit65 & up$9.97

* Includes issuing agent fee of $1.00 and $0.97 transaction fee.

Shop where we do: Bass Pro

Grab a Bass Pro special
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Photo of author
AUTHOR
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.
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x