License Information & Fees
- Persons who have been a bonafide resident of the city, county, or state for six consecutive months immediately preceding the date of application for license;
- Persons who have been domiciliary residents of the state for at least two months upon approval of a completed affidavit to be furnished by the DWR;
- Legal voters in Virginia;
- Any member of the armed forces of the United States, or a member of the immediate family of such a member as defined in § 2.2-3101, upon execution of a certificate of residence if the member (i) resides in the Commonwealth, (ii) is on active duty, and (iii) is stationed at a military installation within, or in a ship based in, the Commonwealth;
- Students (including nonresident students boarding on campus) residing in Virginia who are enrolled in bonafide Virginia schools;
- Any unnaturalized person who owns real estate in the county or city and who has actually resided there not less than five years next preceding the date of the application for the license in the county or city where they qualify.
- Resident or nonresident landowners, their spouses, their children and grandchildren and the spouses of such children and grandchildren, or the landowner’s parents, resident or nonresident, do not need a license to hunt, trap, or fish within the boundaries of their own lands and inland waters.
- Residents under 16 years of age (also do not need a trout license).
- Resident, active-duty members of the armed forces while on official leave. However, when trout fishing they must have copy of their Military Orders in their possession.
- Tenants, on the land they rent and occupy, are not required to have a license, but must have the written permission of the landowner.
- Guests fishing in individually owned private ponds.
- Nonresident children under 16 years of age (also do not need a trout license).
- Legally blind persons.
- Any Indian who “habitually” resides on an Indian reservation or a member of the Virginia-recognized tribes who resides in the Commonwealth is not required to have a freshwater license; however, such Indian must have on his person an identification card or paper signed by the chief of his tribe, a valid tribal identification card, written confirmation through a central tribal registry, or certification from a tribal office. However, a saltwater fishing license is required.
- Stockholders owning 50 percent or more of the stock of any domestic corporation owning land in Virginia, his or her spouse and children and minor grandchildren, resident or nonresident, to hunt, trap and fish within the boundaries of lands and inland waters owned by the domestic corporation.
- Persons 65 years of age or older do not need a saltwater license but must comply with the Virginia Fisherman Identification Program (FIP) requirements. See page 11.
- Any person not fishing but aiding a disabled license holder.
Where to get a License
- Create Your Customer Account: The new Go Outdoors Virginia site allows you to create a unique customer account to access licenses and products that apply to you based on age and residency.
- Existing Customers: Log in using your date of birth and either your DWR Customer ID or your previous year’s DWR license number and license year.
In Person:Sold by some clerks of the Circuit Court and hundreds of license agents around the state. To find a license agent visit: https://license.gooutdoorsvirginia.com/Licensing/LocateAgent.aspx
By Phone/Mobile Phone:(804) 367-1000 during regular business hours, or use your GoOutdoors Virginia mobile app.
Resident and nonresident licenses are valid for one year from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted.
|Sportsman’s License (16 years or older)||
|Includes hunting license, bear license, deer/turkey license (valid July 1–June 30), archery license, muzzleloader license, freshwater fishing license and trout license|
|County/City Resident Freshwater Fishing*||
|(For county or city of residence only)|
|Resident State Freshwater Fishing License* (age 16 and older)|
|Resident State Fresh/Saltwater Fishing*||
|Resident Saltwater Fishing License||
|South Holston Reservoir Fishing License||
|Allows fishing in both Tennessee and Virginia waters of South Holston Reservoir upstream of the dam. A valid resident fishing license is also required. See page 13 for more details.|
|Resident 5-Day Freshwater Fishing||
|(5 consecutive days) Not valid in designated stocked trout waters|
|Resident 5-Day Fresh/Saltwater Fishing||
|(5 consecutive days) Not valid in designated stocked trout waters|
|Resident 10-Day Saltwater Fishing||
|(10 consecutive days)|
|Resident Tidal Boat Sport Fishing (see page 12)||
|Resident 65 and Over Annual Freshwater Fishing*||
|Resident Annual Fishing License for 70 Percent or Greater Service-Connected Partially Disabled Veterans|
|Resident Veterans rated 70% or greater service-connected by the U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs Administrative Office may apply for a discounted annual fishing license. All applicable licenses, stamps, or permits are required in addition to this license. Please visit www.virginiawildlife.gov/forms for application, instructions, and prices. Applications may be mailed or brought into our Henrico office location only.|
|Resident Trout Fishing (October 1–June 15)||
|Required in addition to other resident licenses if fishing in stocked waters.|
|Nonresident State Freshwater Fishing** (age 16 or older)||
|Nonresident Saltwater Fishing License||
|Nonresident State Fresh/Saltwater Fishing**||
|Nonresident 1-Day Freshwater Fishing**||
|Nonresident 5-Day Freshwater Fishing**||
|(5 consecutive days)|
|Nonresident 10-Day Saltwater Fishing License||
|(10 consecutive days)|
|Nonresident 5-Day Fresh/Saltwater Fishing**||
|(5 consecutive days)|
|Nonresident Tidal Boat Sport Fishing (see page 12)||
|Nonresident Annual Fishing License for 70% or Greater Service-Connected Partially Disabled Veterans and Service-Connected Totally and Permanently Disabled Veterans|
|Nonresident Veterans rated 70% or greater service-connected or as Total and Permanent Service-Connected by the U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs Administrative Office may apply for a discounted annual fishing license. All applicable licenses, stamps, or permits are required in addition to this license. Please visit www.virginiawildlife.gov/forms for application, instructions, and prices. Applications may be mailed or brought into our Henrico office location only.|
|Nonresident Trout Fishing (October 1–June 15)||
|Required in addition to other nonresident licenses if fishing in stocked waters.|
|Daily Permit Required at Clinch Mountain, Crooked Creek, and Douthat State Park Fee Fishing Areas||
|Required in addition to regular resident, resident 5-day license, nonresident, or nonresident 1-day or 5-day license. See page 33.|
|National Forest Permit||
|For fishing in the National Forest, this permit is required along with the required fishing licenses (exceptions: residents under 16 and over 65, nonresidents under 16).|
|Virginia State Forest Use Permit||
|Allows hunting, trapping, fishing, mountain biking, and horse riding. No motorized vehicles on gated roads/trails (open or closed). Sold in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Forestry.|
$4.00 per day or $23.00 per year
|See page 12 for more information.|
|County Dip Net Permit||
|To take shad, herring, and mullet. River herring and American shad may not be harvested from tidal waters.|
|Public Access Lands for Sportsmen (PALS)||
- Available to Virginia residents and non-residents under the age of 2 years upon date of application receipt to Department of Wildlife Resources.
- The legacy hunting lifetime license is valid until the individual’s 12th birthday at which time they must complete an approved hunter education course or equivalent, then transfer the legacy to a regular hunting lifetime at no additional charge.
- Virginia resident and nonresident lifetime licenses available.
- Certain Virginia residents may purchase their lifetime licenses online through www.gooutdoorsvirginia.com provided their Virginia residency status can be verified through Virginia DMV.
- The lifetime hunting license equals the state hunting licenses; all other applicable licenses, stamps, or permits are required in addition to this license.
- Resident Junior Lifetime Hunting license is available to Virginia residents under the age of 12. This license will expire on their 12th birthday, and is transferable when they complete and submit the Youth Hunter Education Compliance form and a copy of their Hunter Safety or equivalent completed certificate.
Senior Combo Lifetime
- Available to Virginia residents 80 years of age and older
- All other applicable licenses, stamps, and permits (except the bear license and deer/turkey license) are required in addition to this license
Veteran Total and Permanent Service-Connected Lifetime
- Virginia residents who are rated as total and permanently service-connected disabled by the U.S. Veterans Administration office may apply for this lifetime license(s).
- The Veteran lifetime hunting license includes small game state hunting, bear, deer/turkey, archery, muzzleloading. All other applicable licenses, stamps, or permits are required in addition to this license.
State Forest Use PermitRequired for those persons aged 16 or older to practice the following activities on a state forest: hunting, trapping, fishing, mountain biking, and horse riding. No motorized vehicles on gated roads/trails (open or closed). The Forest Use Permit is not required for forest visitors who practice the following activities on a state forest: walking, hiking, or boating. Sold in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Forestry.
Replacement LicenseIf you purchased a license from a retail license agent, online or by phone, you can visit www.gooutdoorsvirginia.com, select “Manage Your Account” and reprint your license anytime. You can also visit any retail license agent that sells hunt/fish licenses or call the Headquarters office at (804) 367-1000 during normal business hours.
- Elizabeth River: The Great Bridge Locks
- James River: A line connecting Hog Point on Hog Island (Surry County) and the downstream point of the mouth of College Creek (James City County)
- Piankatank River/Dragon Run: The first set of power lines immediately upriver of Anderson Point
- Potomac River*: Rt. 301 Bridge
- Rappahannock River: Rt. 360 Bridge
- York River System (including the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers): Rt. 33 Bridges
Buggs Island (Kerr) and GastonVirginia or North Carolina state fishing licenses and permits are honored on those waters lying east of Union Street Dam on the Dan River in Virginia and the mouth of Difficult Creek on the Staunton River of Kerr Reservoir to the Gaston Dam on the Roanoke River, including all tributary waters accessible by boat from the main bodies of the reservoirs, or from the Island Creek sub-impoundment. Note: North Carolina regulations apply on North Carolina portions of these waters. Virginia regulations apply in Virginia waters.
Blue Ridge ParkwayVirginia and North Carolina licenses are honored on all Parkway waters. Note: Virginia regulations apply in Parkway waters in Virginia except where noted herein or in federal regulations.
New RiverVirginia or North Carolina state fishing licenses and permits are honored on the mainstream portion lying between the confluence of the North and South Forks of the New River in North Carolina (Alleghany County) downstream to the confluence of the New and Little rivers in Virginia (Grayson County).
Potomac RiverVirginia has reciprocal license agreements for three sections of the Potomac River, one above the District of Columbia and two below the District of Columbia. License requirements are different for these sections.
- Upper Potomac River [above Little Falls (upper border with the District of Columbia) to the West Virginia border/state line]: Resident anglers with state freshwater licenses in Virginia or Maryland may fish the Potomac River and from both banks.
- Middle Potomac and its Tidal Freshwater Tributaries (between Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Rt. 301): Valid Virginia freshwater and saltwater (excluding county licenses), Potomac River Fisheries Commission, and Maryland Bay sport licenses are all honored on the mainstem Potomac and Maryland tributaries up to the demarcation lines (see below); all of these same licenses, except the Virginia saltwater licenses, are honored on the Virginia tributaries up to demarcation lines (see below):
Virginia tributaries up to the following demarcation lines:
- Accotink Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
- Aquia Creek: First bridge above Aquia Harbor Marina
- Chopawansic: Rt. 1 Bridge
- Choptank: Causeway
- Dougue Creek: Rt. 235, Mt. Vernon Memorial Parkway
- Four Mile Run: Rt. 1 Bridge
- Hunting Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
- Little Hunting Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
- Neabsco: Rt. 1 Bridge
- Occoquan River: Fall Line
- Pohick Creek: Rt. 611 (Colchester Road)
- Potomac Creek: Rt. 608 Bridge
- Powells Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
- Quantico Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
Maryland tributaries up to the following demarcation lines:
- Anacostia River: Downstream of Northeast Branch Bridge at northbound lane of Alternate Rt. 1 Bladensburg Road, and Northwest Branch Bridge at southbound lane of Rhode Island Avenue
- Piscataway Creek: Downstream of Rt. 224 Bridge (Livingston Rd.)
- Henson Run: Downstream of Oxon Hill Road Bridge
- Nanjemoy Creek: Downstream of Rt. 6 (Trappe) Bridge
- Port Tobacco Creek: Downsteam of Rt. 6 Bridge
- Mattawoman Creek: Downstream of Rt. 225 Bridge
- Lower Potomac River (between its mouth and the Rt. 301 Bridge): Valid Virginia saltwater (excluding county licenses), Maryland Bay sport, or Potomac River Fisheries Commission licenses are honored in the main stem. In Virginia tributaries below 301, Virginia freshwater and saltwater, and Potomac River Fisheries Commission licenses are honored.