Veterans Fishing License Discounts & Exemptions (2024): All States

Cast away stress with veterans fishing licenses! Dive into our guide on accessing discounted permits for your peaceful angling retreats.

Getting out on the water and fishing is good for all of us, but particularly for our 19 million US veterans.

To help veterans take advantage of fishing opportunities, we’ve researched which states offer discounted fishing licenses and set them out both in map and table form.

The findings of this research were:

  • 30 out of 50 states offer free licenses or exemptions to having a license for veterans
  • 19 out of 50 states offer discounted licenses for veterans
  • Only 1 state (Massachusetts) has no publicly available veterans exemption or discount scheme

Check the map below to see which states offer exemptions and discounts to resident veterans and the table below that to get further info.

Keep in mind that in almost all cases, there are eligibility requirements based on the extent of service-related disability that a veteran has to meet to avail themselves of the discount or exemption.

These are often phrased in terms of the disability rating or level of compensation as assessed by Veterans Affairs (typically 50% through to 100%).

There are quite extensive differences between states, and it really pays to check the links on the state names in the table we’ve compiled to learn more.

See also:

To provide an example of these restrictions, here is the qualifying clause from Alaska: “The State of Alaska honors our resident disabled veterans (DV) by providing a complimentary hunting and fishing license/card to those who meet the Department of Fish and Game’s residency definition and who are certified 50% disabled or greater. ”

And the qualifying clause from Arizona: “Disabled Veteran – A person must show certification from the Veteran’s Administration confirming permanent service-connected disabilities rated as 100 percent disabling, plus one or more consecutive years as a bona fide Arizona resident immediately preceding application for license.”

Some states extend discounts on fishing licenses or offer additional discounts to Purple Heart recipients of former Prisoners of War. These can be discounts or exemptions.

And other states, such as Texas, offer exemptions and discounts to veterans from out of state too. In the case of Texas, veterans from out of state can fish free (subject to disability requirements), while in other states, the discount is offering resident prices to non-resident veterans – typically a discount of 50% or so.

Please note we have strived to ensure the accuracy of the information here. Please advise us if you discover any errors or updates required.

veterans fishing license exemptions map showing exempt, free and discounted license states
StateStatus
Alabama Discounted
AlaskaExempt
ArizonaExempt
ArkansasDiscounted
CaliforniaDiscounted
ColoradoExempt
ConnecticutExempt
DelawareExempt
FloridaExempt
GeorgiaExempt (one-off)
Hawaii (no license of any type needed for residents)Exempt
IdahoDiscounted
IllinoisExempt
IndianaDiscounted
IowaDiscounted
KansasExempt
KentuckyDiscounted
LouisianaExempt
MaineExempt
MarylandExempt
MassachusettsNone
MichiganExempt
MinnesotaExempt
Mississippi (more info on Mississippi fishing licenses)Exempt
MissouriExempt
MontanaDiscounted
NebraskaDiscounted
NevadaDiscounted
New Hampshire (general info on New Hampshire fishing licenses)Exempt
New JerseyExempt
New MexicoExempt
New YorkDiscounted
North CarolinaDiscounted
North DakotaDiscounted
OhioExempt
OklahomaExempt
OregonExempt
PennsylvaniaExempt
Rhode IslandExempt
South CarolinaExempt
South DakotaDiscounted
TennesseeDiscounted
TexasExempt
UtahDiscounted
VermontExempts
VirginiaDiscounted
WashingtonDiscounted
West VirginiaExempt
WisconsinDiscounted
WyomingDiscounted
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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.
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