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License Information

Hunting and fishing license sales and federal excise taxes comprise over 90 percent of the TWRA’s operating funds. Thank you for buying a hunting and fishing license. Without you, Tennessee would not have the abundance of fish and wildlife that we all enjoy.

Fishing licenses go on sale February 18 each year and are valid through the last day of February of the following year. You can purchase most licenses from county clerks, sporting goods stores, hardware stores, boat docks, the TWRA web site and all TWRA regional offices.

Online: Log on to and click on the link, “Buy a license online.” Regular license fees plus a processing fee will be charged to your credit card. Processing fee is $3.00 if you print it, or $4.25 if it is mailed to you.

By phone: Call 1-888-814-8972. An authorization number will allow you to begin fishing or hunting the minute you hang up. Regular license fees plus a processing fee will be charged to your credit card. Processing fee is $6.25, or $7.50 if license needs to be mailed to you.

US mail: Send your name, address (including zip code), social security number, date of birth, physical features (height, weight, eye and hair color), and enclose the correct fee to: TWRA Sales Office, P.O. Box 41729, Nashville, TN 37204-1729.

All license and permit fees are subject to change.

All expire at midnight of last effective date.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A valid fishing license obtained from the state of Tennessee or the state of North Carolina is required and honored throughout the park for all persons 13 years of age and older. A Tennessee trout license is not required. The National Park Service sets fishing regulations within the park. For detailed fishing information, contact:

Park Headquarters
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 436-1200

Who Must Have a Tennessee License?

If you take, or attempt to take fish (including crayfish) by any method or if you assist someone else to do so, you must have a valid fishing license. There are some exceptions:

  • If you are under 13 years of age (resident or nonresident).
  • Landowners, their spouses and children, who fish on their farm land which is owned by an individual or a family. Landowners, their spouses and children must be residents of Tennessee but need not reside on the land.
  • Tenants, their spouses and dependent children who fish on farm land owned by an individual or a family. Tenants, their spouses and dependent children must be residents of Tennessee and must actually reside on the land and have permission of the landowner to fish. A tenant is a person who, for money, free rent, or other consideration, cares for farmland. The tenancy must be agricultural in nature.
  • Resident grandchildren (under 16) and resident great-grandchildren (under 16) who fish on farm land which is owned by their resident grandparents or great-grandparents.
  • First cousins who own farmland jointly or in common may fish on the farmland. Their children may fish as well.
  • You are on military leave, carrying a copy of your leave orders. A pass does not meet this requirement.
  • You are a resident who was born before March 1, 1926. (To qualify for this exemption, you must carry proof of your age and residency to show to a wildlife officer, if requested.)
  • It’s Free Fishing Day! This year it falls on June 9.
  • It’s Free Fishing Week! All children, ages 15 and younger can fish free between June 9–15 inclusive.

NOTE: Giving false information to obtain a license is a misdemeanor punishable by fine and loss of license. Licenses are not transferable.


Misplace Your License?

If you misplace your fishing license, go to any license agent and ask for a duplicate license. There is a $7.00 replacement fee ($6.00 goes to the TWRA; $1.00 to the agent).


Resident Licenses

Resident licenses can be purchased by:

  • Persons who possess a valid Tennessee driver’s license, or Tennessee state ID issued by the Department of Safety. Tennessee state law requires drivers to obtain a Tennessee driver’s license within 30 days of residency. Out-of-state driver’s license only accepted for military personnel and students meeting the criteria below.
  • Persons who have lived in Tennessee for 90 consecutive days with the genuine intent of making Tennessee their permanent home. Proof of residency required.
  • Military personnel on active duty in this state and their immediate families, who reside with them, regardless of resident status.
  • Students who are enrolled in a Tennessee school, college, or university for at least six months, with student ID.

Ages 12 and under, no license required. Permits may be required.

  • NOTE: A Social Security Number is required to purchase a Tennessee hunting or fishing license.

Annual Hunting and Fishing Combination (Type 001) ages 16–64

Minimum license required to fish and/or hunt small game.


Junior Hunt/Fish/Trap (Type 002) ages 13–15

Required for hunting all game, fishing, and trapping. Must be purchased prior to 16th birthday. No supplemental licenses are required, but applicable permits are required.


One-Day Fishing (Type 021) no trout; ages 13–64


One-Day Fishing All Fish ( Type 023) includes trout; ages 16–64


Annual Trout (Type 022) ages 16–64

Type 022 is a supplemental license required to fish for trout in addition to Type 001, 020, or 021.


Annual Sportsman (Type 004) ages 16–64

An all-inclusive license valid for hunting, trapping, and sport fishing without any state supplemental licenses or permits. Sportsman licenses can be purchased from all license agents.


County of Residence Fishing (Type 020) ages 13 and over

This license allows an angler to fish in his/her county of residence with natural bait (worms, crickets, corn, etc.), but not minnows. No artificial baits can be used. A supplemental license (Type 022) is required to fish for trout.


South Holston Reservoir (Type 063) ages 13 and over

This additional license allows licensed resident anglers to fish the VA portion of South Holston Reservoir. This is essentially a VA license sold by TWRA, therefore all license holders, including the sportsman’s license types, would need to purchase this additional license if fishing in VA.


Permanent Senior Citizen Hunt/Fish/Trap (Type 166) ages 65 and over

Available from any license agent for a one-time fee, and valid as long as holder remains a resident of Tennessee. Not a Lifetime Sportsman License. Additional permits may be required. Can only be purchased when 65th birthday is reached. A valid Tennessee driver’s license or proof of age and residency is required. A trout license is not required.


Annual Senior Citizen Supplement (Type 167) ages 65 and over

May be purchased as a supplement to Type 166 to cover all permits needed in the current license year.


Lifetime Sportsman age determines the cost

An all-inclusive lifetime license valid for hunting, trapping and sport fishing without any Tennessee supplemental licenses or permits. Allows holders to apply for quota permits at no additional fee. Applications are available at your local TWRA office and Applications may only be submitted by mail, Fax (615-837-4262) or TWRA Offices.

Type 401 (Under 3 years)


Type 406 (Ages 3–6)


Type 402 (Ages 7–12)


Type 403 (Ages 13–50)


Type 404 (Ages 51–64)


Type 405 (Ages 65 & over)


Nonresident Licenses

Ages 12 and under, no license required.

Junior Hunt/Fish (Type 070)
(Required for nonresidents age 13–15 fishing and small game only.)


One-Day Fishing (Type 082)—no trout


Three-Day Fishing (Type 077)—no trout


Ten-Day Fishing (Type 079)—no trout


Annual Fishing (Type 076)—no trout


One-Day All Fish (Type 083)—includes trout


Three-Day All Fish (Type 078)—includes trout


Ten-Day All Fish (Type 080)—includes trout


Annual All Fish (Type 081)—includes trout


Special Permits (resident and nonresident)

If you purchase one of the following special permits, you must also have all applicable licenses. Holders of Annual Sportsman’s License, Lifetime Sportsman’s License or Annual Senior Citizen Permit do not need to purchase permits below.

Reelfoot Lake Permit is required for all users except: those under 16 years of age; residents 65 years or older.

Reelfoot Preservation Permit—Annual (Type 089)


Reelfoot Preservation Permit—Three-Day (Type 088)


Reelfoot Preservation Permit—Daily (Type 090)


Tellico-Citico Permit is required seasonally to fish Tellico River, Citico Creek and year-round on Green Cove Pond. See Trout Regulations on Cherokee Wildlife Management Area for details.

Tellico-Citico Trout—Daily (Type 098)
Required for all ages. See page Trout Regulations on Cherokee Wildlife Management Area.


Agency Lake Permits are required to fish Agency Fishing Lakes, except those under 16 years of age and residents 65 years or older.

Agency Lake—Daily Permit (Type 191)
Valid on all Agency lakes, this permit is sold at Agency Lake offices.


Agency Lake—Annual Permit (Type 193)
Valid on all Agency lakes, this permit is sold at Agency Lake offices & TWRA offices.


Bedford Lake—Daily Permit (Type 65) Available at any TWRA license agent.


Gatlinburg Trout Fishing – For information on fishing in the Gatlinburg area, contact the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-568-4748 or the Gatlinburg trout facility at 865-436-4558.

Gatlinburg Three-Day Trout Permit (Type 096)
Required for both residents and nonresident ages 13–64 in addition to the appropriate fishing licenses except for those who purchase the (Type 097) permit.


Gatlinburg One-Day Trout Permit (Type 097)
Only requirement for residents and nonresidents ages 13 and up to fish in Gatlinburg for one day.


Gatlinburg Trout—Daily (Type 099)
Required for both residents and nonresident ages 13–64 in addition to the appropriate fishing licenses except for those who purchase the (Type 097) permit.


Resident Permanent Licenses

The following licenses are available only by application from the TWRA Sales Office located in Nashville. Applications are available at regional offices and online. A doctor’s statement will be required as defined on the application. Licenses are available for a one-time fee and are valid as long as holder remains a resident of TN. They are not Lifetime Sportsman Licenses. Additional permits may be required. A trout license is not required.

Sport Fishing License for the Blind (Type 197)


Permanent Wheelchair Hunting and Fishing (Type 189)

Application must be accompanied by a doctor’s statement stating that the applicant is permanently confined to a wheelchair.


Permanent DAV Hunting and Fishing (Type 198)

Available to resident veterans certified by the VA as 30 percent disabled by reason of war service or 100% service connected.


Mentally Challenged (Type 199) sport fish only

Must be receiving SSI Benefits due to cognitive impairment.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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