While each state has different laws regarding recreational fishing licenses and exemptions, there are some age advantages of fishing licenses that you should be aware of. For example, if you want to fish with your 75 year old grandpa, is there a chance he might not need a license? Or maybe you want to fish with your 6 year old niece, but not sure if you need to buy a license for her? Check with your state agency to find out what age is required for a fishing license in your state, and don’t forget to ask about such fishing license benefits.
1. Many states offer discounted royalties (or waive certain licensing requirements) if you are a senior over a certain age. Your government agency can tell you what the age limit for the fishing license you live in. Remember that to determine whether you are meeting the reduced or waived fishing license age limit, you will need to show your driver’s license or ID card to provide proof of residence and verify your age.
2. If you are a parent, find out if a lifetime fishing license is available in your state and consider purchasing a lifetime license for your children. Not only are lifetime licenses a great way to get our youth involved in recreational fishing for the long term, but the cost of a lifetime license is also less than the cost you would spend on cumulative annual licenses, permits and fees.
3. In many states, children under a certain age do not need a fishing license to fish. Remember, every state has free recreational fishing days at certain times of the year for kids, parents, and everyone else to enjoy.
4. While not specifically related to fishing license age benefits, it is worth noting that several states offer discounted fishing license fees to veterans and active military personnel. This is a way to reward these special athletes for the time they have spent on our country and for their commitment to nature conservation.
5. Some states offer 5-year permits in addition to annual permits if you are of legal age to purchase a fishing license. Most 5-year licenses offer cost savings compared to the annual renewal of an annual fishing license.
Remember that most age benefits or exemptions for state fishing licenses only apply if you meet the state residence fishing license requirements. You can purchase your state fishing license online and find out the age required to purchase a fishing license on the state sites.
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, advocate of sport fishing for women, IGFA world record holder and freshwater guide in southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has been featured in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @ shefishes2.