Alabama Fishing License

Alabama

Alabama is known for the Mobile Delta, its rich rivers and fresh and saltwater fishing. Whether it is to spend a weekend with family or to simply soak in the immaculate view, Alabama is the perfect place for you! With a stretch of saltwater along the Gulf of Mexico, peaceful streams and wetlands, your fishing license will definitely be put to good use. Securing one is just a few clicks away! You may obtain yours through the Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources website or through tackle shop, an authorized representative.

You can apply for a Florida fishing license online through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission website. You may also opt to buy one personally from authorized resellers or at local athletic stores in your area. The links in this section will help you learn more about license fees and requirements for both fresh and saltwater fishing.

Just like any activity, you must familiarize yourself with the do's and don'ts of the sport before your trip. The local laws for fresh and saltwater fishing vary so make sure you double-check this with the area you chose to visit in order to avoid problems during your vacation. You may browse through the Alabama local fishing laws on this website.

Bringing home the bacon, or in this case, a largemouth bass is something anglers look forward to. However, Alabama promotes the catch and release practice to preserve its marine life, giving you the option to set your prized catch free instead of taking it home with you.


There are three things that you need if you want to spend quality time with family and friends by fishing in one of the Alabama reservoirs or enjoying the beauty while fishing an Alabama mountain stream, quiet wetland, or Mobile Delta. The first is comprehensive knowledge about all governing fishing laws and regulations observed in the state; the second is an excellent itinerary and all necessary equipment; and of course, a fishing license. 

Getting a fishing license in Alabama is very simple. You can choose among the different types that they offer. However, if you’re new to the state, it could be very confusing. But don’t worry. This guide will help you know everything that you need regarding fishing licenses in the state of Alabama. 

The Basics: What license/permits do you need to fish in Alabama?

There are two essential licenses that are available in the state of Alabama. One is the freshwater fishing license, which allows you to experience the thrill of catching big largemouth bass or bream in one of Alabama’s freshwater sanctuaries, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. The second is the saltwater fishing license. This license grants the licensee the right to fish or possess fish in saltwater areas of Alabama. 

Who is required to purchase an Alabama Fishing License? 

Both residents and non-residents are required to procure either a saltwater or freshwater fishing license before they are allowed to fish or take fish from the state waters of Alabama. However, if you are one of the following, you are NOT required to secure a fishing license: 

  1. Residents under 16 years of age
  2. Residents 65 and over
  3. Resident Landowners and immediate family, including:
    • Landowner’s spouse
    • Landowner’s children, if Alabama residents
    • Landowner’s parents, if Alabama residents
    • Landowner’s brothers and/or sisters, if Alabama residents
    • If the landowner has a tenant residing on the property, he and his immediate family living on the property are exempt from the requirement of a hunting license.

NOTE: If the member of the immediate family has moved out of state, regardless of whether they possess an Alabama Driver’s License, they are considered Non-Residents. Grandchildren of the landowner are NOT exempt.

  1. Residents who are home on military leave (must have ID and paperwork in their possession)
  2. Non-Resident under 16 years of age

Please refer to the matrix below to determine if you need to purchase a fishing license or not. 

You are…

Resident

Nonresident

AGE

16–64

16+

Fishing from the bank (public waters) with a hook & line in the county you live in

No

N/A

Military Stationed in Alabama

Yes

Stationed in Alabama (30 days or more) may purchase resident license

Military Visiting Alabama

Home on leave: No license required (must have copy of leave papers)

Purchase of nonresident license required

Where can I purchase an Alabama Fishing License? 

There are different ways that you can purchase an Alabama fishing license. Whichever is convenient for you, you can buy your license through one of the following methods:

Walk-in. Across the entire state, they are available in all sections of the state from approximately 275 special license agents in many sporting goods stores, marinas, and at all county courthouses. You can locate the nearest license agent to your area by using the Agent Location Map

Through mail. You can also purchase an Alabama fishing license by mailing completed applications, proper payment and copy of driver’s license to Attn: License Sales, Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division, 64 N. Union St., Suite 567, Montgomery, AL 36104. For application packet call (334) 242-3465.

Through email. You can also email your completed application form and payment to dcnr.wfflicense@dcnr.alabama.gov or visit the Outdoor Alabama website.

Different Fishing Licenses in Alabama

The state of Alabama offers different types of licenses to both residents and non-residents. The age of licensee, validity duration, and residency status of an applicant come into play in computing for the fee that needs to be paid when purchasing an Alabama Fishing License. Please refer to the matrix below for a summary of these licenses. 

Resident Licenses

Category

License type

 Description/info

Fee

Sport Fishing License

Freshwater (Annual):

 

 Required for residents 16 years of age and under 65 years of age who
 fish with rod and reel, hook and line, or from a boat in public waters. This
 license is not required to fish with ordinary hook and line, only from a   bank in the county of legal residence.

Includes privileges of Wildlife Heritage License.

$13.85

Saltwater (Annual):

$24.35

Saltwater (7-Day Trip):

Trip licenses are valid for 168 consecutive hours.

$10.15

Public Fishing Lakes Daily Fishing License

Public Fishing Lakes

 In lieu of a regular fishing license, a resident may purchase to fish for 1
 day at any WFF Division owned Public Fishing Lake. (Not valid in other
 public reservoirs, lakes and rivers.)

Trip is valid for 1 day

$6.40

Physically Disabled Freshwater Fishing 3-Day Event License

Freshwater Trip

 Events must be sanctioned by DCNR. Allows up to 20 physically
 disabled persons and their assistant to fish on one event license. $5.00 
 for each additional participant.

$100.00

Saltwater Trip

$100.00

Disabled Fishing License

Freshwater Annual (totally disabled)

 Present certification of permanent disability benefit to your local
 Probate/License Commissioner Office for issuance.

Includes privileges of Wildlife Heritage License.

$3.05

Veterans

Appreciation

(20% disabled)

 Present certification by the U.S. Veterans Administration to be 20% or |
 more disabled to your local Probate/License Commissioner Office for
 issuance.

Freshwater

Includes privileges of Wildlife Heritage License.

$3.15

Saltwater

$3.15

Saltwater Annual (totally disabled)

 Present certification of permanent disability benefit to your local
 Probate/License Commissioner Office for issuance.

$3.05

Freshwater Commercial Fishing License

Annual

 12 month residency proof required. Required for use of any commercial gear.
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

$100.00

Retail Freshwater Fish Dealer

 Required to sell commercial or nongame fish direct to the consumer.
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

$11.00

Wholesale Freshwater Fish Dealer

 Required to sell commercial or nongame fish for resale.
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

$26.00

Freshwater Mussel License

Catcher

 12 month residency proof required.
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

$251.00

Dealer or Buyer

 12 month residency proof required.
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

$101.00

Spear Fishing License

Annual

 Valid for fresh and saltwater. Must also have appropriate sportfishing license.

$6.00

Who are considered as residents of Alabama?

Bona Fide Alabama Residents must present an Alabama driver's license or non-driver's ID to any local license agent. Or, in the case of Bona Fide residents with no driver's license or non-driver's ID, those residents must go to their local probate office or license commissioner with proof of residency. Conversely, you are considered a Non-Resident IF you have an Alabama Driver's License or Non-Driver's ID and possess a valid driver's license from another state.

Non-Resident Licenses

Category

License type

 Description/info

Fee

Sport Fishing License

Freshwater:

Annual

 Required for nonresidents 16 years of age and older.

 Required in any public water regardless of tackle used.

 Special fishing license fees may apply to residents of Florida, Georgia, 
 Louisiana, Mississippi, & Tennessee.

$53.30

Freshwater:

7-Day Trip

Trip licenses are valid for 168 consecutive hours.

$29.95

Saltwater:

Annual

­—

$52.20

Saltwater:

7-Day Trip

Trip licenses are valid for 168 consecutive hours.

$28.85

Public Fishing Lakes Daily Fishing License

 

Daily

 In lieu of a regular fishing license, a nonresident may purchase to fish at any 
 WFF Division owned Public Fishing Lake. (Not valid in other public reservoirs,
 lakes and rivers.)

Trip is valid for 1 day

$7.50

Annual

Expires August 31

$12.95

Freshwater Fishing Family Trip License

Freshwater Trip

 Allows nonresidents to add up to 4 additional immediate family members to their
 Sport Fishing License.

Trip is valid for 3 days

$29.95

Physicallay Disabled Freshwater Fishing 3-Day Event License

Freshwater Trip

 Event must be sanctioned by DCNR. Allows up to 20 physically disabled 
 persons and their assistant to fish on one event license. $5.00 for each
 additional participate.

­—

$100.00

Saltwater Trip

­—

$100.00

Freshwater Commercial Fishing License

Freshwater

Commercial

 Same as nonresident license in applicant’s resident state, please call 334-242-3465.
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

Varies

Retail Freshwater Fish Dealer

 Required to sell commercial or nongame fish direct to the consumer.
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

$11.00

Wholesale Freshwater Fish Dealer

 Required to sell commercial or nongame fish for resale.
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

$26.00

Freshwater Mussel License

Catcher

 Includes residents with less than 12 month residency proof.
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

$751.00

Dealer or Buyer

 Includes residents with less than 12 month residency proof. 
 Valid: 10/1/19 – 9/30/20

$301.00

Spear Fishing License

Annual

 Valid for fresh and saltwater. Must also have appropriate sportfishing license.

$8.50

7-day trip

$3.50

Fishing Regulations and Daily Limits

The state of Alabama implements several fishing laws and regulations to maintain the health of their fishing grounds. Please observe all rules when fishing within the jurisdiction of the state. For a complete guide on the regulations implemented by Alabama, please read the Alabama Hunting & Fishing Digest

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I'm 65 years of age and a resident of Alabama. Must I purchase a hunting or fishing license?

No. Residents of Alabama 65 years of age and older are not required to purchase a license. You must have proof of residence and age, like an Alabama driver's license, etc.

Q: Why is my Social Security Number required when purchasing a hunting/fishing license? 

 The Social Security Number is required by State and Federal Law when purchasing or renewing recreational licenses.

Q: Does Alabama have a disabled fishing license?

Yes. Alabama has an annual physically disabled freshwater fishing license for those residents who are 100% permanently disabled. An application must be completed along with the approved documentation. This can be obtained at your local Probate Office, License Commissioner, or our Montgomery Office.