Alabama Fishing License

Alabama Fishing License: How To Get Yours In A Few Easy Steps

Are you an angler looking to cast your rod in Alabama’s waters? Anyone 16 or over needs an Alabama fishing license. But don’t worry; the fees for permits vary depending on whether you’re from out-of-state, how long it will last, and what kind of fishing adventure awaits!

This article aims to provide simple information on how to obtain fishing licenses in Alabama:

  • A valid Alabama fishing license is required for anyone who wants to participate in fishing activities in the state, regardless of age or residency status.
  • Different fishing license types are available for purchase, including freshwater and saltwater fishing, trip, pier, and special discounted licenses for disabled and disabled veterans, and more.
  • The cost of fishing licenses in Alabama depends on various factors, such as age, residency status, and license type. You may also need additional endorsements or tags for certain types of fishing.
  • Fishing licenses can be bought online or from authorized retailers in person. Some licenses may only be valid for a limited period, while others may be longer.

By reading on, you can obtain the necessary information for a successful and legal fishing trip in Alabama. Find out what license you need, how much it costs, and where to get it conveniently.

Why You Need a Fishing License in Alabama

Are you an Alabama resident or visitor looking to enjoy a day of fishing? Make sure you have the right license for your trip! The state requires everyone between 16 and 65 years of age to purchase a permit. Residents can choose from annual, 7-day, and 1-day licenses, while visitors can opt for an annual, 7-day, or 3-day pass. Prices will vary depending on the chosen license option – so pick wisely based on your plans!

It is important to note that fishing without a license in Alabama can result in a fine of up to $500 and even imprisonment. Therefore, having a valid fishing license is crucial before casting your line in Alabama’s waters.

Alabama is renowned for its natural beauty, and buying a fishing license helps ensure that future generations can experience this same splendor. Not only do you get the chance to participate in the exciting tradition of angling – your purchase ensures that aquatic resources across the state are managed carefully by contributing finance toward conservation projects!

Types of Alabama Fishing Licenses

Alabama Fishing License
*This image is a representation and not intended to depict an official state fishing license.

Freshwater Fishing License

Enjoy casting your line in Alabama’s sparkling waters. A freshwater sportfishing license is necessary to fish its rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. Regulations vary by age and residency – but whatever the case may be, there’s an option available! Residents aged 16 – 65 must acquire their licenses, while non-residents from 16 years up can get theirs. Take advantage of all that nature has bestowed upon the great state of Alabama with one simple purchase!

Saltwater Fishing License

A saltwater fishing license is required for anyone who fishes in Alabama saltwater bodies. The license covers fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and other saltwater bodies. The saltwater fishing license fee is based on whether you are a resident or non-resident and your age. Residents of Alabama who are 16 years or older and under 65 years of age must purchase an appropriate sportfishing license. A non-resident who is 16 years or older must also purchase a saltwater fishing license to fish in saltwater bodies in Alabama.

Resident Licenses Definition and Requirements

Who qualifies for a resident sport fishing license?

  • To be considered a resident, an individual must have lived in Alabama for at least 90 days immediately prior to purchasing their fishing license.
  • Individuals who own property in Alabama but do not live in the state are not considered residents.
  • Active-duty military members stationed in Alabama and their immediate family members may purchase resident licenses.

Exceptions to sport fishing license requirements

  • Residents under 16 years of age are not required to secure a fishing license in Alabama.
  • Alabama residents 65 years and older are exempt from purchasing a fishing license in Alabama.

What documents are needed to prove residency?

  • A valid Alabama driver’s license or non-driver identification card is typically sufficient proof of permanent Alabama residence.
  • Other forms of identification that can prove legal residence include an Alabama voter identification card or a homestead exemption.

Where can Alabama residents fish for free?

Alabama residents can enjoy fishing from the bank in their county of residence without needing to purchase a license, as long as they’re using hook and line with live bait.

However, be prepared to show reasonable proof of residency, such as your driver’s license, to avoid getting the hook.

Why is residency important for fishing in Alabama?

  • Fishing licenses are priced differently for residents and non-residents.
  • Non-residents are required to purchase a more expensive license than residents.
  • Ensuring that only residents purchase resident licenses helps to maintain fair pricing for all anglers.

Non Resident Licenses Definition and Requirements

If you’re not a resident of Alabama but still want to enjoy the state’s abundant fishing opportunities, you’ll need to obtain a non-resident fishing license.

Here’s what you need to know about the eligibility requirements for this type of license:

  • Anyone under the age of 16 is exempt from needing a fishing license in Alabama.
  • Anyone who is not a resident of Alabama and is 16 years or older can purchase a non-resident fishing license.
  • Military Members: Non-resident military personnel stationed in Alabama for at least 30 days are also eligible to apply for a license.
  • Foreign Nationals: Non-U.S. citizens can apply for a non-resident fishing license if they have a foreign passport, U.S. visa, driver’s license, and a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

Whether you’re a military member stationed in Alabama, a foreign national with a valid ID, or simply visiting the state, you can easily obtain a non-resident fishing license to enjoy the waters of Alabama.

How to Get an Alabama Fishing License


To obtain a resident fishing license in Alabama, applicants must have resided continuously in the state for 90 days and possess either a valid Alabama driver’s license or a valid Alabama non-driver’s ID card. In addition, they must provide proof of residency, such as a Social Security number.

A valid driver’s license or identification card from the applicant’s resident state is required to purchase a nonresident license. They must also provide proof of residency, such as a Social Security number.

Alabama Fishing License Cost

To legally fish in Alabama, anglers are required to obtain a fishing license, which is issued by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The cost of a fishing license varies depending on the type of license and the length of time for which it is valid.

The following table covers the fees for a wildlife heritage license, nonresident fishing licenses, lifetime fishing licenses, daily fishing licenses, event licenses, and disabled military veterans, including freshwater fishing licenses and Special Fishing License Fees.

CategoryType of LicenseExpirationResident CostNon-Resident Cost
Sport Fishing LicenseFreshwater Annual FishingExpires August 31$15.05$58.15
Sport Fishing LicenseFreshwater 7-Day FishingValid for 168 consecutive hours$32.55
Sport Fishing LicenseFreshwater 64 LifetimeLifetime$15.05
Sport Fishing LicenseSaltwater Annual FishingExpires August 31$26.50$26.50
Sport Fishing LicenseSaltwater 7-Day FishingValid for 168 consecutive hours$11.00$11.00
Sport Fishing LicenseSaltwater Reef Fish EndorsementExpires August 31$10.00$10.00
Sport Fishing LicenseSaltwater PierExpires August 31$6.85$12.10
Sport Fishing LicenseSaltwater 64 LifetimeLifetime$26.50
Sport Fishing LicenseWildlife Heritage LicenseExpires August 31$12.40
Public Fishing Lakes Daily Fishing LicenseDailyTrip is valid for 1 day$8.00$8.00
Public Fishing Lakes Daily Fishing LicenseAnnualExpires August 31$11.95$13.95
Freshwater Fishing Family Trip LicenseFreshwater TripAllows nonresidents to add 4 additional immediate family to Sport Fishing License; Valid for 3 days$32.55$32.55
College StudentsFreshwater$15.05
Physically Disabled Freshwater Fishing 3-Day Event LicenseFreshwater Trip / Saltwater TripAllows up to 20 DCNR sanctioned physically disabled persons and their assistant to fish on one event license. $5.00 for each additional to participate$100.00$100.00
Spearfishing LicenseAnnualExpires August 31$6.00$8.50
Spearfishing License7-Day TripValid for 168 consecutive hours$3.50$3.50

Where to Get an Alabama Fishing License


The easiest and most convenient way to get a fishing license for Alabama is to purchase it online. You can visit the Outdoor Alabama website to purchase your license. You must create an account and provide your personal information, including your name, address, and date of birth. You can pay for your license using a credit card or debit card. Once you have completed your purchase, you will be able to print your license from your computer.

In-Person at a License Retailer

You can visit a certified retailer to purchase your fishing license in person. Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports, and Ace Hardware all sell fishing licenses for Alabama.

You can also purchase a license from any of the following local government offices:

  • Your local probate office
  • The license commissioner’s office
  • State park locations

By Mail

If you prefer to purchase your fishing license by mail, you can download and print an application from the Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division website.

You will need to fill out the application and mail it along with the proper payment and a copy of your driver’s license to Attn: License Sales, Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division, 64 N. Union St., Suite 567, Montgomery, AL 36104.

You can also request an application packet by calling (334) 242-3465.

Regardless of how you purchase your fishing license, it is important to remember that your license fee goes towards the management, protection, and education of Alabama’s natural resources. So, make sure to get your license and enjoy fishing responsibly in Alabama’s beautiful waterways!

Public Fishing Lakes

The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division offers a unique experience for anglers of all ages with the 23 Public Fishing Lakes (PFLs) throughout the state. Aspiring fisherfolk can enjoy an array of species, including bass, catfish, bream, and crappie.

At some PFLs, anglers may also need to purchase a daily fishing permit and their fishing license and permit. For example, at Lee County Public Fishing Lake, anglers aged 16 or older must have a normal fishing license and a daily fishing permit, while anglers under 16 only need a daily fishing permit.

These lakes are located in 20 counties throughout the state and range in size from 13 to 184 acres, totaling 1,912 surface acres.

The 23 Alabama public fishing lakes are as follows:

  1. Bibb County Lake
  2. Chambers County Lake
  3. Coffee County Lake
  4. Covington County Lake
  5. Cullman County Lake
  6. Dallas County Lake
  7. Dekalb County Lake
  8. Elmore County Lake
  9. Fayette County Lake
  10. Gene Dempsey/Van De Graaff Lake (Tuscaloosa County)
  11. Lamar County Lake
  12. Lauderdale County Lake
  13. Lee County Lake
  14. Limestone County (Breland) Lake
  15. Madison County (Garner) Lake
  16. Marion County (Barnett) Lake
  17. Monroe County Lake
  18. Perry County Lake
  19. Pickens County Lake
  20. Pike County Lake
  21. Walker County Lake
  22. Washington County Lake
  23. Wilcox County Lake



Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers about Alabama fishing licenses:

Who needs a fishing license in Alabama?

If you plan to cast your line with rod and reel or use artificial bait or hook and line (cane pole) outside of your county of legal residence in Alabama, a valid fishing license is a must-have for all residents and non-residents aged between 16 and 64 years.

What is the bait privilege license?

In Alabama, any hunter seeking to use bait as an aid while hunting must obtain a bait privilege license – this rule applies to all hunters, even those who are exempt from requiring a license. The state’s legislature has recently authorized the use of bait when hunting for white-tailed deer and feral swine, providing an exciting new opportunity for hunters to up their game.

Why is my Social Security Number needed?

State and Federal regulations mandate the provision of a Social Security Number for all recreational license purchases or renewals. Compliance with the law necessitates the inclusion of a Social Security Number during the license procurement or renewal process.

How can I get a fishing license in Alabama?

You can make a quick purchase online through the Outdoor Alabama website, or if you prefer to go old-school, drop by a licensed agent. Or simply dial 1-888-848-6887 to purchase your license over the phone.

What should I do if I lose my fishing license?

You can easily obtain a duplicate license for a minimal fee of $4.65. The process is quick and convenient – simply head to the Outdoor Alabama website to purchase one online or visit any licensed agent.

What are the fees for an Alabama fishing license?

The cost of an Alabama fishing license is subject to variation based on the license type and the angler’s residency status. If you’re a resident, a freshwater fishing license can be obtained for a mere $15.05, while a saltwater fishing license will set you back $26.50. Non-residents, on the other hand, must pay $58.15 for a freshwater fishing license and $ for a saltwater fishing license. Annual and lifetime licenses are available for those looking for a longer-term solution.


Purchasing an Alabama fishing license is crucial to ensure you remain compliant with local regulations while out on the water. Not only that, but it also supports conservation efforts across the state by funding projects which help protect wildlife and aquatic resources.

Depending on your residency status, age, or even what kind of angling activity you plan to do, multiple options are available at affordable prices for each situation. Furthermore, if going after fish from public lakes, be aware of whether any daily permits may need additional consideration, too – so always check ahead before casting off!

With a valid permit ready and a steady hand behind the reel, all that’s left now is to enjoy a memorable day doing something we love while simultaneously aiding our outdoor surroundings — Now go get ’em those big ones!

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