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Licenses and Permits

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Saltwater fishing in Florida…
What you must know before you go

Saltwater fishing licenses are sold online at, at all county tax collectors’ offices and at many license agents. Licenses may also be obtained over the telephone by dialing toll-free, 1-888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356). An additional fee is charged for telephone and Internet services. For any recreational licensing information not contained in this publication, please go to

Florida residents

When applying for a saltwater recreational fishing license, you are considered to be a Florida resident if you are:

  • Any person who has resided in Florida for six continuous months prior to applying for a resident license and who claims Florida as their primary residence.
  • Any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is stationed in this state and any family members residing with them.

Gold sportsman’s license

  • $100 (valid for one year). Includes:

— Hunting, Saltwater Fishing and Freshwater Fishing licenses

— Management Area, Archery, Crossbow, Muzzleloading Gun, Turkey, Florida Waterfowl, Deer, Snook and Spiny Lobster permits

  • Florida residents may buy a lifetime saltwater fishing license or a lifetime sportsman license. Holders of lifetime saltwater fishing licenses may fish in saltwater for life and will pay no additional fees. The lifetime license fee includes the taking of snook or spiny lobster, which would otherwise require a separate fee. A lifetime sportsman license allows holders to fish in freshwater or saltwater and to hunt in Florida. Both of the licenses require holders to obey fishing or hunting laws in effect at any given time.

You do not need a license if you are:

  • A resident who is saltwater fishing from land or a structure fixed to land who has been determined eligible for the food stamp, temporary cash assistance, or Medicaid Program by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Proof of identification and a benefit issuance or program identification card issued by DCFS or the Agency for Health Care Administration must be on your person when fishing.
  • A child under 16 years of age.
  • Any resident fishing for recreational purposes only, within her or his county of residence with live or natural bait, using poles or lines not equipped with a fishing line retrieval mechanism.
  • Fishing from a for-hire vessel—guide, charter, party boat—that has a valid charter boat license or charter captain license.
  • A holder of a valid saltwater products license.
  • A Florida resident 65 years of age or older and you possess proof of age and residency, such as a Florida driver’s license or ID, or an optional no-cost Resident Senior Citizen Hunting and Fishing Certificate.
  • A Florida resident who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, who is not stationed in this state, while on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders. This does not include family members.
  • Any person who has been accepted as a client for developmental services by the Department of Children and Family Services, provided the department furnishes proof thereof.
  • Fishing for recreational purposes from a pier that has a valid pier saltwater fishing license.
  • Fishing from a boat that has a valid recreational vessel fishing license.
  • A Florida resident who is fishing for mullet in freshwater with a valid Florida freshwater fishing license.
  • A Florida resident who possesses a no-cost Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate. In order to qualify for this, applicants must provide a certification of total and permanent disability from the United States Armed Forces, Railroad Retirement Board, Florida Worker’s Compensation or the United States Veterans Administration. Alternatively, current documentation from the Social Security Administration for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits also will be accepted.

Other saltwater fishing fees

Licenses (Charter Boat or Charter Captain)
are required for all vessels that charge a fee (for-hire vessels) to take passengers out to catch marine fish.

  • Eleven or more customers $801.50
  • Five to ten customers $401.50
  • Four or fewer customers $201.50

Optional fees include the annual Recreational Vessel fee ($2,001.50) for not-for-hire pleasure craft and the annual Pier license ($501.50). For charter licensing information, contact your local county tax collector’s office or visit


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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This is not the full law. Consult the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
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