State and local governments use fishing licenses to regulate this angler activity and protect wildlife. Plus, the license fee helps support conservation efforts.
The rules and requirements vary from one state to another, but recreational fishing licenses are usually easy to obtain, especially from retailers acting as authorized agents. Here’s what you need to know about getting a Walmart fishing license.
- 1 Can You Fish Without a License?
- 2 Does Walmart Still Sell Fishing Licenses?
- 3 Types of Fishing Licenses Available
- 4 License Duration
- 5 Other Types of Fishing Licenses
- 6 How to Get a Fishing License From Walmart
- 7 Applying for a Fishing License in Person
- 8 Can You Get a License Online or Over the Phone?
- 9 Which Walmart Sells Fishing License?
- 10 Can You Get a Fishing License at Walmart Anytime?
- 11 How Much Is Walmart’s Fishing License?
- 12 FAQs
Can You Fish Without a License?
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1997 established a federal requirement to obtain a fishing license, though each state is responsible for implementing it. Most states use age limits to determine who needs a license, which usually varies from state to state.
- Michigan and Texas require anyone over 17 to have a license
- Floridian anglers over 16 need a license, but the state waves this requirement if you’re over 65 and have proof of residency.
- Oregon issues youth licenses for anglers between 12 and 17.
- Some states like Maryland also waive licensing requirements for residents on active duty.
Does Walmart Still Sell Fishing Licenses?
One of the easiest ways to get a fishing license is through a retailer. State governments authorize retailers to issue fishing licenses to make this process easier. There are nearly 40 million Americans with fishing licenses, and issuing and renewing licenses can be complex.
Since checking the licensing requirements is easy, state governments delegate this task to retailers to lessen their workload.
Walmart is an authorized organization with more than 10,000 stores nationwide, making it a convenient option if you need to get a new license or renew your current one. This service might not be available in every store.
Walmart offers this service to make fishing more accessible and to generate more foot traffic in its stores. Everyone knows someone with a DMV horror story, but getting a fishing license at Walmart is usually quick, convenient, and easy! Especially since 90% of Americans live within 15 minutes of a Walmart.
Types of Fishing Licenses Available
Before applying for a fishing license, you should know about the different types of fishing licenses available. Each state has a unique system, so the types of licenses available can vary. Here are the most common types of fishing licenses you’ll encounter.
Recreational and Commercial Licenses
Recreational licenses can limit which species you’re permitted to catch or have quotas. These licenses are inexpensive and easy to get.
Commercial fishing licenses cost more and enable you to fish with the intent to resell your catch. You might also have to link a vessel to your commercial license.
Resident and Non-Resident Fishing Licenses
States issue fishing licenses based on whether you live in the state or not. Expect to pay more for a non-resident license.
Youth and Senior Licenses
If you’re a minor or over 65, you might qualify for a discounted license.
Freshwater, Saltwater, and Other Types of Fishing Licenses
States with a seashore issue saltwater and freshwater licenses. Some states also offer discounted combo licenses.
You might need a shellfish and seaweed license to catch mussels, barnacles, squids, and more. Some states like Louisiana have additional licensing requirements for charter fishing.
You can save by getting a short-term license. For instance, Hawaii offers inexpensive 7-day and 30-day tourist licenses.
All states offer annual licenses, but you can save by getting a lifetime license. A total of 32 states offer lifetime fishing licenses, including New Hampshire, New Mexico, Virginia, Vermont, and many others.
Other Types of Fishing Licenses
Some other Fishing licenses include:
- Washington has a Puget Sound Dungeness crab endorsement
- Alaska has a stamp for king salmon.
- Indiana requires a specific fishing tournament permit for competitions.
- Michigan residents can apply for a hunting and fishing license combo.
- Walmart fishing license options also include replacement licenses for lost licenses.
How to Get a Fishing License From Walmart
The first step is to determine if your local Walmart issues fishing licenses. Go to your state’s Department of Natural Resources website. There is typically an online tool to help you find authorized agents, which should include your local Walmart.
Your other option is to use the Walmart store finder tool. Check if your local store lists fishing licenses in its list of services, or give the store a call to ask.
Applying for a Fishing License in Person
The only way to get a fishing license from Walmart is to visit a store in person:
- Head to the Sports & Outdoor department and approach an employee.
- Tell them you would like to apply for a fishing license, and they will give you a form to fill out.
- Fill out the form and show them your ID and proof of residency.
- Pay the fee and receive your license.
It’s a simple process that should only take a few minutes. Plus, you’ll get to ask questions about the different types of licenses available and application fees.
Can You Get a License Online or Over the Phone?
Some states have an automated system that allows you to apply for a fishing license online or by phone. State agencies operate these systems. Walmart only issues fishing licenses in person.
Which Walmart Sells Fishing License?
Walmart is an authorized licensing agent in every state, but not all locations offer this service. If your local Walmart has a Sports & Outdoor department, there is a good chance that you’ll be able to get a fishing license there.
Meeting the requirements for getting a fishing license at Walmart is easy. You’ll need a valid state ID and proof of residency, typically a piece of mail with your name and address.
Some states offer discounted licenses for seniors and the military. Walmart employees can check your age on your ID, but you should bring a military ID if you’re in the service.
Bring your old license if you need a renewal or replacement. States like California use a digital system with a unique identifier for each user; having this number with you can make things easier if you need to replace a lost license.
Can You Get a Fishing License at Walmart Anytime?
While Walmart is no longer open 24/7, it is typically open seven days a week in each state, with most stores opening between 7-8 AM and closing between 8-11 PM. Call ahead of time to find out the hours for getting a fishing license, as this service might not be available in the early morning or late at night.
How Much Is Walmart’s Fishing License?
Prices vary from one state to another.
|License Type||Price Range|
|Freshwater license||$15 to $40|
|Saltwater license||$15 to $50|
|Resident license||$15 to $40|
|Nonresident license||$25 to $150|
|Senior license||$0 to $30|
You can find exact pricing information by visiting your state’s Department of Wildlife website.
Several factors can influence pricing:
- Expect to spend more if applying for a non-resident license. For instance, California charges $50 for residents and $140 for non-residents.
- A saltwater license can cost a little more in some states, like in Alabama where a freshwater license costs $15 and a saltwater license costs $25.
- Some states like Maryland have more affordable saltwater licenses at $15 while a freshwater license costs around $25.
- Save by getting a combo license, if they’re available. Florida charges $17 for a freshwater or saltwater license, but you can get both for $32.
- If you’re over 65, 13 states won’t require a license. However, 35 offer a discounted price.
- Getting an endorsement or stamp typically increases the application fee. In Tennessee, expect to pay $56 for a license with a trout stamp.
Here are a few additional things to know about getting a Walmart fishing license.
Can you get a lifetime fishing license at Walmart?
Yes, Walmart sells lifetime fishing licenses as long as you’re a resident of one of the 32 states that offer these licenses.
Who needs a fishing license?
Requirements vary by state. Assume that you need a license if you’re over 16 or 17 and not in the military.
What states offer fishing licenses at Walmart?
Walmart is an authorized licensing agent in all 50 states.
Can you get fishing licenses at Walmart for free?
Some states issues free licenses to seniors or active-duty military personnel.
Are fishing licenses bought from Walmart legal?
Yes, Walmart is an authorized licensing agent and offers the same fishing licenses as you would get from a state agency.