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License Requirements

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No resident of this state, 16 years of age or older, or nonresident, 12 years of age or older, may fish in inland waters or transport fish taken from inland waters without first obtaining a valid Maine fishing license. Maine Residents* may obtain fishing licenses from any resident license agent. Non-Residents** may obtain fishing licenses — in person or by mail from the
IF&W Department Office in Augusta or from any of the numerous nonresident license agents throughout the State. Residents AND Nonresidents are also able to purchase licenses
on our website:

Unless otherwise specifically provided, all fishing licenses expire on December 31 of the calendar year for which they were issued.


A free fishing license will be issued, upon application, to the following:

  1. Any Maine resident* who is blind;
  2. Any Maine Indian who is a member of the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet ,or Micmac Tribe (must obtain licenses from their respective tribal headquarters);
  3. Any Maine resident who is a war veteran, has a service connected disability of 100% or has served in a combat zone and has a service connected disability of 70% or more;
  4. Any Maine resident (or nonresident, if reciprocal privileges exist in the home state of the nonresident) who is suffering from the loss, or loss of use, of both lower extremities;
  5. Any mentally handicapped person (as defined in Title 34-B, §5001, sub-§3);
  6. Any person with a head injury (as defined in Title 22, §3086).

(These free licenses may be obtained at the Department Office in Augusta.)

*Resident means a citizen of the United States who is domiciled in this State or an alien who has been so domiciled for one year. You will not be considered a resident unless:

  • if registered to vote, registered in Maine;
  • if licensed to drive a motor vehicle, applied for a Maine motor vehicle license;
  • if owning a motor vehicle(s) located within the State, registered each vehicle in Maine;
  • complied with the State income tax laws; and
  • if a full-time student at a Maine college or university, resides in Maine AND satisfies above requirements.

**Non-Resident means a person who does not fall within the definition of resident.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
This is not the full law. Consult the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: