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Fishing Licenses & Fees

Fishing licenses

Fishing licenses are effective from March 1 to the last day of February of the following year. A fishing license for the current 2023-24 license year is effective until Feb. 29, 2024.

  • Any combination (married couple) type license will now require each spouse to have a complete customer record on file. MN residents without a complete customer record should visit a license agent or call our license center to verify their residency.
  • Resident youth younger than 16 do not need a fishing license.
  • There is a $1 agent fee (added to the cost of the license) associated with each license or stamp sold, including some free licenses.
  • Purchase online at:
  • Duplicate licenses and stamps can be purchased from any Electronic License System (ELS) agent for $2.50 each.
  • License year begins March 1 and ends the last day of February unless otherwise noted.
  • Fish house, dark house or shelter licenses valid March 1 to April 30 the following year (or 3-year period).
  • A fishing license continues to be valid for the balance of the license period if the licensee’s age, residency, or student qualification status changes.
  • Super Sports licenses include: 50 cents for wolf management; 50 cents for emergency feeding and wild cervidae-deer health management; $1deer/bear management account; and $2 for deer management.
  • In the table below, the 3-digit code refers to the license identification code.

Resident Licenses & Fees

Resident LicensesFee
Angling - 24-hour Code 110 (r)$12.00
Angling - 3 year Individual - Code 141 (r)$71.00
Angling - 72 Hour - Code 140 (r)$14.00
Angling - combination (Married Couple) (r) - Code 112$40.00
Angling - dark house rental (r) - Code 120$30.00
Angling - dark house shelter (r) - Code 119$15.00
Angling - individual (r) - Code 111$25.00
Angling - military (r)None
Angling - Netting white tulibee herring (r) - Code 115$10.00
Angling - spearing from dark house (r) - Code 113$6.00
Angling Dark House 3 Year Rental (r) - Code 132$87.00
Angling Dark House 3 Year - Code 131$42.00
Angling Youth Ages 16 to 17 - Code 138 (r)$5.00
Conservation combo angling (r) - Code 106$27.00
Conservation individual angling (r) - Code 105$17.00
Disability permit - angling/spearing permanent (r)None
Disability permit - angling/spearing special annual (r) - Code 107None
Fishing tournament licenseVaries
Lifetime angling renewal (r) - Code 411None
Lifetime Resident Angling/Deer/Small Game/Sports/SpearingVaries
Sports - combination (r) - Code 217$57.00
Sports - individual (r) - Code 216$41.00
Stamp - trout (validation & pictorial) - Code 129$10.75
Stamp - trout validation - Code 128$10.00
Stamp - walleye pictorial- voluntary - Code 135$5.75
Stamp - walleye validation- voluntary - Code 134$5.00
Stamps (collectable)Varies
Sturgeon tag (r) - Code 130$5.00
Super Sports Combination - Code 143$126.00
Super Sports Individual - Code 142$100.00

Non-Resident Licenses & Fees

Non-Resident LicensesFee
Angling - 14-day couple (nr) -Code 125$54.00
Angling - 24-hour Code 139 (nr)$14.00
Angling - 7-day (nr)- Code 126$43.00
Angling - 72-hour (nr)- Code 127$36.00
Angling - family (nr) - Code 124$68.00
Angling - individual (nr) - Code 121$51.00
Angling - shelter (nr) - Code 116$37.00
Angling - shelter 7-day (nr) - Code 117$21.00
Angling - spearing from dark house (nr) - Code 118$17.00
Angling - Youth Ages16 to 17 or Youth own limit (nr) - Code 205$5.00
Lifetime angling renewal (nr) - Code 415None
Lifetime NR Angling/Small GameVaries
Stamp - trout (validation & pictorial) - Code 129$10.75
Stamp - trout validation - Code 128$10.00
Stamp - walleye pictorial- voluntary - Code 135$5.75
Stamp - walleye validation- voluntary - Code 134$5.00
Stamps (collectable)Varies
Sturgeon tag (nr) - Code 130$5.00


Take a Mom Fishing Weekend—May 13-14, 2023 Minnesota resident moms may fish without a license.

Take a Kid Fishing Weekend—June 9-11, 2023 Minnesota residents 16 and older may fish without a license if they're with children younger than 16.

Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend—January 13-15, 2024 Minnesota residents 16 and older may fish without a license if they're with children younger than16.

Electronic Licensing Information

The Electronic Licensing System (ELS) issues licenses and stamp validations through 1,400 license agent locations statewide. Agents charge an issuing fee for each license and stamp sold.

Instant Licenses

Customers may purchase instant licenses and stamp validations online or by telephone at 888-665-4236. An additional convenience fee is added for sales via the website or telephone. A self-printed or electronic license is sufficient proof of licensing. Lake sturgeon harvest tags may not be purchased online.

Lifetime Licenses

First-time purchase of lifetime licenses is only available at the DNR License Center in St. Paul. Application forms are available online or through the DNRInformation Center 888-646-6367. A lifetime license holder who is required by law to have a game and fish license, must authorize their participation by obtaining an annual license renewal each year the lifetime license is used. These annual licenses are issued at no fee.

Conservation Licenses

  • Conservation Licenses are available only to residents of Minnesota.
  • Daily and possession limits are half of what can be taken with a standard angling license. Fractions are rounded down to next whole number.
  • People bowfishing, spearing, or using other approved harvest methods under a Conservation License are limited to one half of the daily and possession limit for that method.
  • Sturgeon harvest tag may not be used with a Conservation License.

Trout/Salmon Stamp

2023 Trout Stamp
2023 Trout Stamp, Bradley Hadrava

Trout/salmon stamp validations are printed on the ELS license. This is the only verification needed to prove purchase of the trout/salmon stamp. Purchasers may request the actual pictorial stamp for an additional 75 cents.

Except as noted, anglers need a Minnesota trout/salmon stamp validation and a fishing or sports license when fishing in designated trout streams, designated trout lakes, Lake Superior, or when possessing trout on waters that are not designated trout water. All trout and salmon in possession require a trout/salmon validation, unless received as a gift. Trout/salmon stamps are not required for children younger than 18 years old, adults who are 65 and older, people fishing with a 24-hour or 72-hour license or people who are exempt from fishing license requirements or who receive a fishing license at no charge.

Walleye Stamp

2023 Walleye Stamp
2023 Walleye Stamp, Melissa Mickelson
  • Purchase of a walleye stamp is voluntary; it is not needed for fishing.
  • Revenues from the sale of walleye stamps are used for stocking walleyes purchased from the private sector.
  • Walleye stamp validations are printed on the ELS license. Purchasers may request the actual pictorial stamp for an additional 75 cents.


Do I need a fishing license?

To legally fish in Minnesota, all residents of Minnesota, age 16 through 89, must have a current Minnesota fishing license unless an exemption applies (see below “Who doesn’t need a fishing license?”). You must carry your license when fishing or traveling from an area where you were fishing. All nonresidents need a license except those younger than 16 do not need a license if a parent or guardian is licensed.

Did you buy a 3-year license in 2020?

Three-year angling licenses bought in 2020 are due for renewal.

Who is a resident?

  • To qualify as a resident, a person must maintain a legal residence in Minnesota for at least 60 consecutive days before purchasing a license.
  • Residents 21 years of age or older must provide a current Minnesota driver’s license or Minnesota public safety ID card or have a receipt for an application for a Minnesota driver’s license or Minnesota public safety ID that is at least 60 days old.
  • A nonresident under age 21 whose parent is a Minnesota resident is considered a resident.
  • New residents must visit a license agent location or call our Licensing office to have their residency updated before qualifying for resident rates.

Who is a nonresident?

Nonresidents include anyone who does not meet the definition of a resident.

Who doesn’t need a fishing license?

  • Residents younger than 16, or residents 90 and older.
  • Minnesota residents enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, stationed outside the state, and home on leave (you must carry leave or furlough papers while fishing or transporting fish).
  • Minnesota residents who have served in federal active service outside the U.S. during the preceding 24 months who are now discharged from overseas duty (must carry discharge papers while fishing or transporting fish).
  • Anyone not requiring a license is allowed to keep a possession limit of fish.

Do I need a free fishing license?

Anglers who meet certain qualifications can obtain a free license ( fishing/exemptions.html) if they are:

  • Foreign exchange students with proof of foreign exchange student status. Available from any agent.
  • Residents 16 and older who have a developmental disability or veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability. Available only from the DNR by calling 877-348-0498.
  • Residents who are legally blind, receiving SSI or SSDI, or receiving worker’s compensation for total and permanent disability. Must present current letter from Social Security stating disability or SSI benefits to any license agent to receive free license. SSI/SSDI benefit verification is available online, by calling 800-772-1213 or at your local Social Security office.
  • Residents receiving disability benefits under the Federal Railroad Retirement Act or

U.S. Postal Service. Must present proof of disability benefits. Available at any agent.

  • Residents of a Minnesota licensed nursing or boarding care home, wards of the Minnesota Commissioner of Human Services, residents of state institutions, or inpatients of a U.S. Veterans Administration hospital. Must use application available from the DNR (888-646-6367).

Do I need a license to fish in Minnesota State Parks?

Minnesota residents may fish without a license for any species except trout when:

  • Shore fishing or wading on state-owned land within a state park.
  • Fishing from a boat or on the ice on water bodies that are completely inside the boundaries of a state park.
  • To fish on a designated trout stream or to fish for trout in a state park you must have a fishing license and a trout/salmon stamp validation.

What if I’m helping a child fish?

If an adult is showing a child younger than 16 how to bait, cast, and remove fish, no license is needed. The child must hold the rod, set the hook and reel in the fish.

What if I’m helping someone fish who has a developmental disability?

You do not need a license to assist a disabled person, who must have a valid license unless an exemption applies. You may only fish with the number of lines allowed for all licensed or exempt anglers fishing.

What if I don’t have a paper license because it was purchased on a mobile device? Licenses purchased on a mobile device are issued in electronic format. Purchasers choose to receive an email, text message or both. The email and/or text message stored electronically on your mobile device serves as your license. You must carry your mobile device or a printed copy of the email or text message you received when fishing or traveling from an area where you were fishing.

Can I get a refund?

Check your license for accuracy prior to leaving the license agent location. All sales are final. Refunds can only be issued if the:

  • Licensee dies before the opening of the licensed season;
  • Licensee is unable to participate in the licensed activity because the licensee is called to active military duty or military leave is canceled during the entire open season of the licensed activity; or
  • Licensee purchased two licenses for the same license season in error.

What are license requirements for nonresident youth?

Nonresidents under 16 may either fish under a parent or guardian’s license (including a family license) or must purchase a nonresident youth license. If fishing under a family license or their own youth license, youth may possess their own limit; if fishing under a parent or guardian’s individual license any fish kept are counted towards the parent’s possession limit.

What if I lose or can’t find my license?

You can go to any license agent and have them print a duplicate license. The cost is $2.50, which includes a 50-cent fee charged by the vendor.

What if I’m not a state resident but am a full-time student at a Minnesota school, college or university?

You may purchase fishing licenses at the resident rate if you reside in Minnesota and show the license agent a fee statement showing full-time enrollment.

What if I’m not a state resident but serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and am stationed in Minnesota or the spouse of a Minnesota resident on active military duty?

By showing proof, you may purchase fishing licenses and stamps at the resident rate.

How can my license be revoked?

  • Fishing privileges may be revoked for one year for two or more convictions of fishing violations in three years. Violations of fishing laws in other states may affect your ability to fish in Minnesota.
  • Violating the gross over-limits penalty provisions can result in privileges being revoked for three, five or 10 years, depending on the number of fish involved in the violation.
  • Failure to pay fines or to appear in court on a violation can result in revocation of all game and fish licenses until the fines are paid.