Licenses, Permits & Stamps

Hunting Regulations Icon New Jersey Hunting

Regulations in red are new this year.

Deer Permits are valid for the 2018–2019 hunting season. New Jersey sporting licenses are valid for the calendar year and expire on Dec. 31. Beaver and river otter trapping permits are valid for the 2018–19 trapping season. For permit and license fees, see License Information & Fees.


The electronic license system will create a customer profile identified by an assigned lifetime Conservation Identification Number (CID#) for all first-time purchasers of any hunting, trapping or fishing license or permit. This unique number appears on every license, permit and stamp issued by New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. Your customer profile and CID# can be established on the license website (www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com) from your home computer or with valid identification at a license agent (see agent list, Permit & License Agents), during—or preferably prior to—your first license or permit purchase. A first-time hunting license must be purchased at an agent by showing a appropriate Hunter Education course completion card or with a prior resident hunting license (firearm or bow and arrow) from any state.

All persons hunting or trapping must be properly licensed. It is unlawful for any person age 10 or older to hunt without a hunting license. (See Farmer License Exemption, License, Permits & Stamps) It is unlawful for any person age 12 or older to trap without a trapping license. Hunting licenses are valid for the calendar year and expire on Dec. 31 regardless the purchase date. See License Information & Fees for license and permit fees. See License, Permits & Stamps for youth license information. To acquire your first New Jersey hunting license (firearm, bow and arrow), present to a license agent (see list, Permit & License Agents) either an appropriate hunter education course completion card or a resident (firearm or bow and arrow) license from this or any other state. The automated license system will allow subsequent hunting license purchases for that sporting arm to be purchased by phone or online or at any license agent.

All hunters and trappers must openly display their license in the middle of the back on their outer clothing and must show their license to any law enforcement officer or any person requesting to see it. Farmers hunting their own land must also display any deer season permit.

Licenses, permits and stamps may be purchased using Fish and Wildlife’s Internet sales site (www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com), via your smartphone or other mobile device, from approved license agents listed on Permit & License Agents, or by calling (888) 773-8450. A license or permit cannot be self-printed. Permits with a designated zone or hunting season must be purchased at a license agent. See also Non-resident and Resident LicensesLicense, Permits & Stamps.

Do NOT heat laminate the durable license or permit. High temperature will destroy these waterproof, heat-sensitive documents.

Apprentice License

An Apprentice License allows a new hunter (or new to hunting with a particular sporting arm) to participate in the sport but does not require completion of a hunter education course. However, an apprentice MUST hunt under the direct supervision and guidance of a hunting mentor, hunting together as a unit in the same location. Mentors must be 21 years of age or older and must possess a valid NJ Hunting License for the weapon type being used.

Both residents and non-residents are eligible. Individuals are limited to two apprentice licenses per weapon type per lifetime. The Apprentice License cannot be used as proof of the hunter education requirement for purchasing a regular license. Due to N.J. Firearm ID Card regulations, Firearm Apprentice Licenses are limited to individuals 18 years of age and older. An archery Apprentice License holder must be 14 years of age or older.

There are no free youth apprentice licenses. Apprentice license holders are NOT eligible for a Bear Permit, Rifle Permit or Muzzleloader Deer Permit and may not hunt with any type of rifle. An air gun is not considered a rifle. See Firearms and Missiles beginning on General Hunting Regulations.

Apprentice hunters must ALWAYS hunt under the direct supervision of a licensed hunter and cannot hunt at night nor hunt for coyote, fox or black bear. Apprentice hunters must adhere to hunting laws, regulations and must purchase all hunting permits, stamps or the HIP certification, as required.

Apprentice licenses are available only at web-based license agents. Call the license agent in advance to confirm that they are web-based.

See Welcome Apprentice Hunters! for a summary of participation in our first year of offering an Apprentice Hunting License.

Child Support Certifications

The “Child Support Program Improvement Act” requires Fish and Wildlife to collect and maintain Social Security numbers and a child support obligation certification from license applicants and to make the collection of this information part of the license application. To comply, Fish and Wildlife, working with the Division of Law in the Office of the Attorney General, created the Supplemental License Application available on the Fish and Wildlife website at NJFishandWildlife.com/child_support_info.htm or at license agents.

The online child support application allows an individual to be certified from the privacy of their home. Once completed—either over the Internet or at a license agent—the certification remains valid for the calendar year in which the certification was completed.

Farmer License Exemption

A farmer and members of the immediate family (see definition under Farmer Regulations, Farmer Hunting & Permit Information) who also reside on the farm may hunt, trap and fish on the farm without being licensed or possessing a valid Rifle Permit. For details, see Farmer Hunting & Permit Information.

All farmers must have a Conservation Identification number (CID#). Register online now for a free CID# at www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com. No purchase is required.

Hunter and Trapper Education Requirements

New Jersey requires that everyone, age 10 and above, applying to hunt with a firearm or bow must show a previous resident license­ of the appropriate type from this or any state, or a course completion card from the appropriate hunter education course. Anyone, age 12 and above, applying to trap furbearing animals must show a previous resident trapping license from this or any state, or a trapper education course completion card. See also Youth Licenses, this page.

The New Jersey Hunter Education Program is offered as a home study, video-based course. Students may obtain course materials at most license agents and Fish and Wildlife field offices or download from our website. After completing an extensive homework assignment, the student will choose from a list of testing facilities and dates to complete their hunter education course. For more Hunter Education Program details, including course material availability, facility locations, dates and course registration, go to Fish and Wildlife’s website at NJFishandWildlife.com/hunted.htm or call (877) 2-HUNT-NJ or (877) 248-6865.

Trapper education courses are offered four times throughout the state in the months of September and October. To enroll in a trapper education course, go to the Fish and Wildlife website or call (877) 2-HUNT-NJ to register.

Note: Devices accessing the mobile version of our website must click on “full site” to register for a Hunter Education course.

Lost Licenses

A license, permit or stamp can be replaced at any license agent, at Fish and Wildlife’s Internet license sales site, www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com, via your mobile device or by calling (888) 773-8450. Licenses and permits which contain the Harvest Report can be duplicated at license agents or on the Internet sales site only twice. All subsequent duplicates of these license and permit types must be handled in person at Fish and Wildlife regional offices or the Pequest Natural Resource Education Center. The Trenton office is not open to the public for license and permit sales. A $2 fee is charged for each duplicate license/permit.

New Jersey National Guard Licenses

Only New Jersey National Guard personnel in good standing are entitled to free sporting licenses, permits and stamps. These privileges are not available using Fish and Wildlife’s website. However, the NJ Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs can issue fishing licenses through their DMAVA website at www.nj.gov/military/iasd/fishing.html. For all other free sporting licenses, call (609) 530-6866, e-mail or write to: MSG (Ret.) Robert Greco, NJ DMAVA, 101 Eggert Crossing Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.

Non-resident Licenses

Non-residents must show either a resident license from their state or proof of successfully completing an appropriate hunter education course in order to obtain a license to hunt or trap in New Jersey. (See License Information & Fees for license types and also Youth Licenses, Resident and Non-resident, this page.) Non-immigrant aliens who temporarily import firearms to the United States must first obtain an application for the permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). For importation of firearms, use form ATF Form 5330.3A. The approval may take up to 12 weeks. Contact ATF’s New Jersey field office at (609) 989-2142 or download forms from their website at www.atf.gov/firearms/firearms-forms.

Non-resident hunters: For more information on non-resident hunting, go to NJFishandWildlife.com/

Military Licenses, Active Duty

Any person on active duty in the armed services, regardless of their current residency, may buy a New Jersey resident hunting license. Present a previous resident license (from this or any other state) of the appropriate type or show proof to the license agent of successful completion of the appropriate hunter education course along with proof of your current active duty status in the armed services.

One-day License

A one-day license may be issued for hunting on a licensed commercial shooting preserve. This license may be obtained at the shooting preserve and is valid only on the day issued for the species covered by the preserve’s license. Hunter education requirements still apply.

Resident Licenses

A resident license may be purchased if one currently resides in—and has resided in—the state for at least six months immediately prior to application.

Revocation of Licenses

Anyone convicted of a second fish and game violation within a period of five years will have their New Jersey hunting and fishing privileges revoked for two years. Certain violations carry greater periods of revocation, ranging from three years to lifetime revocation. Two convictions of any wildlife management area regulation will result in a five-year revocation of all sporting privileges. Two convictions of the following will result in lifetime revocation: safety zone violation, causing damage to real or personal property and negligent use of a firearm or bow. Fish and Wildlife may revoke any permit or other authorization issued for violation or due cause. See also Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact for New Jersey’s participation in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

Youth Licenses, Resident and Non-Resident

A Youth Firearm or Youth Bow and Arrow License is valid from 10 years of age (or the time of issuance) until Dec. 31 of the year when the youth turns 16. Note that properly licensed youth hunters age 10–13 may hunt only when under the direct supervision of a properly licensed adult hunter age 21 or older. See also Youth Hunting, General Hunting Regulations. Youth licenses are available free to youths who have completed the hunter (ages 10–15) or trapper (ages 12–15) education course; see this page for course information. See also Take a Kid Hunting.

Permits for Hunters and Trappers

Lottery Permit Application Process

Specific permit information for hunting wild turkey, beaver or otter is now located with the regulations for each species. For permit and license fees, see License Information & Fees.

A lottery is conducted to allocate spring turkey, beaver and otter hunting or trapping permits. There is no lottery for fall turkey permits. To receive certain permits you must first apply for the lottery. The application period is listed below with each permit type. Apply at license agents or via the Internet. Be sure to have your Conservation ID number (CID#) on hand. A non-refundable $2 application fee is charged for each lottery application.

Hunters or trappers will have three choices in each lottery. If you will accept a permit only for one particular zone (and/or period), complete only a first choice selection. There is no obligation to select a second or third choice; these are optional. When an applicant’s first choice cannot be filled, the computer will check for the second choice listed. If this selection is also sold out, the computer will check for your third choice. Each lottery is completely random and awards only ONE permit — not three. Your chance of winning a permit in the lottery depends on the number of applicants and the number of permits allocated (permit quota.)

IMPORTANT: Hunters who are awarded two permits in the lottery must claim (purchase) both at the same time. Hunters may not claim only one awarded permit.

Application via the Internet—Before You Start

  • Know your Conservation ID number (CID#) or Social Security Number and date of birth (DOB).
  • Know your desired permit zone and, if applicable, time period or season. Note: After a period of inactivity, the Internet transaction will time out, requiring you to start over from the beginning.
  • Have your payment ready. Internet transactions may be paid either by electronic check (e-check) or major credit card. For e-check transactions, have your bank routing number and your check book ready before you begin.
  • During every transaction, there are several opportunities to review your information for accuracy. A complete review at each step will allow you to make corrections, if necessary. Once a purchase transaction is complete there will be NO refunds or exchanges. Permit applicants will have the opportunity to edit their application at any time during the permit application period; see Changing Your Lottery Application, left. Applicants are responsible to make application carefully. When the process is complete, print the confirmation page or note the transaction number for your records.

Application at License Agent Locations—Know Before You Go

  • Know your Conservation ID number (CID#) or Social Security Number and date of birth (DOB.)
  • Know your desired permit zone and, if applicable time period or season. The store proprietor or clerk is not responsible to know the zone/area of your hunting/trapping property. Be sure to review the map and zone descriptions at home before you arrive at the license agent. Not sure of your area? Use a county map, then follow the zone or area description shown either on Fish and Wildlife’s website, NJFishandWildlife.com/ahrs.htm, in this hunting Digest or in the turkey permit supplement to drive around the zone boundary.
  • To speed your transaction, write down your information (CID#, DOB, lottery type, first, second and third choices) and hand it to the license agent.
  • NOTE for applying at license agents: Agents using a VeriFone® machine (a special keypad) can print a transaction receipt, but might do so only at your request. Therefore, you should ask for a receipt of the transaction. This receipt will list your choices and the transaction number. Agents using Web-based (computer) systems may or may not be able to print a receipt. ASK FIRST! When an agent cannot print a receipt, it’s important to have the clerk orally verify your application choices and to provide your transaction number. Keep this transaction number; it can be helpful should a problem occur with your application.
  • Each agent decides what types of payment to accept. Learn this in advance, then have the correct payment ready when you arrive.

Notification of Lottery Results (Did you win a permit?)

Once the lottery is complete, applicants will be notified of their results. When applying at a license agent, applicants may or may not be asked to choose a notification mode. Some license issuing machines must use the default method of mailing a postcard notification. Those who select email notification are reminded to set your junk/spam folder to accept this notification. IMPORTANT: the notification may fail to arrive due to email account provider issues (email filters, data storage capacity) or postcard delivery delays.

Claiming Your Permit

Lottery permit winners may claim their permit(s) at any license agent or via the Internet. See the corresponding lottery permit claim dates listed in this Digest for beaver/otter and spring turkey permits. At the time of application, the hunter paid only the non-refundable $2 application fee; the actual permit fee must still be paid. Bring your CID# to the license agent to claim your Fish and Wildlife-awarded lottery permit. Internet-claimed permits are subject to an additional convenience fee and will arrive via mail in 7–10 business days.

Purchasing Non-lottery and Unclaimed Lottery Permits

Leftover (unclaimed) lottery permits and non-lottery permits are available at license agents and online. Internet permit purchases CANNOT be printed at home. Plan ahead, as it may take 7–10 business days for your permit(s) to arrive. During every transaction there are several opportunities to review your information for accuracy. A complete review at each step will allow you to make corrections, if necessary. Note: Once a purchase transaction is complete there will be NO refunds or exchanges. When purchasing permits at a license agent, speed your transaction by presenting to the agent a written note with your CID# and DOB, plus the season and zone of your permit choices.

Deer Hunting Permits

Permits are required to hunt during the Permit Bow, Permit Muzzleloader and Permit Shotgun deer seasons. There is no lottery for deer permits. See Deer Hunting Season Special Areas Information, for specific deer permit requirements on those properties.

Permits may be purchased either at a license agent or at Fish and Wildlife’s Internet license sales site www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com. For details, see Deer Season Permits. See License Information & Fees for fees.

Farmer Permits

See Farmer Hunting & Permit Information.

Falconry Permits

Hunting with raptors (birds of prey) is allowed only with both a falconry permit and a hunting license. For hunting regulations see Falconry, General Hunting Regulations.

Rifle Permits

All persons in possession of a rifle (modern or muzzleloading rifle including a smoothbore muzzleloader firing a single projectile) while hunting or trapping must have a valid Rifle Permit. See the specific regulations for each game or furbearing animal for the specific rifles allowed. A Rifle Permit is not required for hunting with an air gun. Initial Rifle Permit applicants must be at least 10 years old and have successfully completed a rifle Hunter Education Course. New hunters taking the Firearms Hunter Education courses will also be certified for rifle hunting. See License Information & Fees for Rifle Permit fees.

  • Rifle Permits may be purchased at license agents or at Fish and Wildlife’s Internet license sales site. Rifle Permits are valid for all ages of permit holders.
  • Rifle Permits are valid from July 1–June 30.

Permit Claim Deadline!

The applicant is responsible to know the lottery results’ notification date and permit claim period deadline. If you did not receive your permit award notification, you can check the permit award status in your customer profile. You MUST claim your permit BEFORE the claim period has ended! (See Application Status Check in the box on Check Your Lottery Application & Status Online!.)


Claim Your Permit!

Successful lottery applicants have only a short window in which to claim the awarded permit(s). Pay close attention to the claim period dates listed! Unclaimed permits will be redistributed and become available for over-the-counter sales. NO EXCEPTIONS!

Permits for Hunters with Disabling Conditions

A permit to use alternative methods/equipment for taking game during the prescribed seasons for certain physically challenged persons may be issued. The application period is Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 of each year.

Permits to Shoot from a Standing Vehicle

A permit to hunt or shoot from a standing vehicle that is parked off the road may be issued to licensed hunters who:

  1. have a permanent or irreversible physical disability that limits their ambulatory ability,
  2. suffer from cardiovascular disease and are classified as Class 3 or 4 heart patients according to American Heart Association standards, or
  3. suffer from chronic lung disease. This permit will be issued if the need is certified by a licensed physician or chiropractor.

Individuals hunting with a permit to hunt or shoot from a motor vehicle must mark the vehicle from which they are hunting either with handicapped license plates issued by the Motor Vehicle Commission or by displaying a sign provided by Fish and Wildlife in the rear window of this vehicle.

For more information on these permits, call (609) 292-1473 or write: NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Handicapped Permits, MC501-03, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420 or downloaded directly from our website: NJFishandWildlife.com/

Permits, Other

Captive Wildlife Permits

The possession, ownership and release of wildlife is strictly regulated and allowed only for limited purposes. Information and permit applications may be obtained online or by calling:

Deer Road-kill Permits

Deer accidentally killed by motor vehicles may be possessed only for private consumption by obtaining a free permit from the local police department or from a Fish and Wildlife regional law enforcement office. The permit authorizes only possession of the meat for consumption and is valid only for 90 days. The possession of all other parts such as antlers, under terms of this permit, are expressly prohibited. Wrapped venison packages must be labeled with the permit number.

Tracking Dog Permits, Certification

Fish and Wildlife may issue permits to dog handlers who possess a certified tracking dog for the search and recovery of deer lost by a hunter during any deer hunting season prescribed by the Game Code. Minimum certification: UBT-1 from United Blood Trackers, Inc., or the equivalent from another recognized tracking dog organization. A photo of each certified dog must accompany the application. Each handler must possess a valid New Jersey hunting license for the current year. For more information on obtaining a permit, go to: www.NJFishandWildlife.com/deer_trackingdog.htm. See also Dogs, Hunting and Training, General Hunting Regulations.


Stamps (such as federal migratory bird stamps) are not transferable to another person and are not valid unless signed across the face in ink. Stamps need not be affixed to the license. State waterfowl “stamps” and Pheasant and Quail stamps now print either directly on your hunting license or as a separate stub, replacing the former paper stamp for these privileges. Waterfowl stamps may be purchased ONLY for a specific individual; hunters can no longer purchase multiple stamps on behalf of a fellow hunter.

Pheasant and Quail Stamp

Anyone aged 16 and over (except 16 year olds whose youth license remains valid through the end of the year in which they turn 16 and which includes a free youth pheasant and quail stamp) hunting or possessing pheasant (or quail only on Greenwood Forest or Peaslee WMAs) on the following designated wildlife management areas must have in possession a current Pheasant and Quail Stamp:

  • Assunpink, Berkshire Valley, Black River, Clinton, Colliers Mills, Dix, Flatbrook, Glassboro, Greenwood Forest, Howardsville, Heislerville, Mad Horse, Manahawkin, Manasquan River, Medford, Millville (Bevan), Nantuxent, Peaslee, Pequest, Port Republic, Rockport, Stafford Forge, Tuckahoe (MacNamara), Walpack, Whittingham and Winslow. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is also a designated pheasant and quail stamp area. Pheasant and quail stamps are valid for the calendar year, January–December. Quail may be hunted or possessed ONLY on Peaslee or Greenwood WMAs.

New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp

Anyone 16 or older who hunts waterfowl must possess a New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp (now printed directly on your license at the time of purchase) in addition to the Federal Migratory Bird Stamp. Both stamps are valid for the fiscal year, July 1–June 30. A Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification is also required. For HIP details, see Migratory Bird Regulations.