California Fishing License

Buy A California Fishing License Online Today.

Question: At what age do I need a fishing license to fish in California?

Answer: All persons 16 years of age and older are required to possess a valid fishing license while fishing in California. 

Question: When do fishing licenses expire in California?

Answer: California annual fishing licenses are valid January 1 through December 31 or for the remainder of the calendar year if purchased after January 1.

Question: Are different licenses needed to fish in freshwater and saltwater in California?

Answer: A California Sport Fishing license is required for any person attempting to take fish, mollusks, crustaceans, invertebrates, amphibians, or reptiles in inland or ocean waters. Additional validations and report cards are required for certain species and areas.

Question: Does California require report cards or harvest reports?

Answer: Yes. California does require report cards/harvest reports for certain species, including but not limited to sturgeon, salmon, steelhead and lobster (see Report Card section below for more details). 

Question: How long do I need to live in California to buy a Resident license?

Answer: California’s definition of a “resident” is any person who has resided continuously in the State of California for six (6) months or more immediately prior to the date of their application for a license or permit, any person on active military duty with the Armed Forces of the United States or auxiliary branch thereof, or any person enrolled in the Job Corps.

PRICES DISCLOSURE: We do our best to stay current, but prices can change without notice to us. The prices below may or may not be the exact current prices for the license(s) listed.

How much does a California fishing license cost online?

Fishing licenses in California can range from just under $8.00 for a VET fishing license to just over $900.00 for a lifetime fishing license. Take a look below for all the resident and nonresident fishing licenses and prices.

California Resident Sport Fishing License Prices

California Resident Sport Fishing License: Required for anyone 16 yrs of age and older

$52.66  BUY NOW

California Resident 1-Day Sport Fishing License: Fish for 1 specified day 

$17.02  BUY NOW

California Resident 1-Day Sport Fishing License: Fish for 2 consecutive specified days

$26.49  BUY NOW

California Resident Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing – Disabled VET: Available for any resident or nonresident honorably discharged disabled veteran with a 50 percent or greater service-connected disability. After you prequalify for your first Disabled Veteran Reduced Fee Sport Fishing License, you can purchase disabled veteran licenses anywhere licenses are sold.

$7.98 BUY NOW or $8.38 at Agents

California Resident Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing – Recovering SVS Member: Available for any recovering service member of the US military. After you prequalify for your Recovering Service Member Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing License, you can purchase recovering service member licenses anywhere licenses are sold. 

$7.98 BUY NOW or $8.38 at Agents

California Resident Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing – Low Income Senior: Available for low-income California residents, 65 years of age and older,who meet the specified annual income requirements. The Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing License for Low Income Seniors is only available at CDFW License Sales Offices.

$7.98 only at CDFW offices

California Resident Free Sport Fishing – Low Income Native American: Available for any American Indian or lineal descendant whose household income does not exceed federal poverty guidelines. The Free Sport Fishing License for Low Income Native Americans is only available at CDFW License Sales Offices.

No FEE only at CDFW offices

California Resident Free Sport Fishing – Mobility Impaired, Blind, DD: Available for a person who is blind, developmentally disabled, or mobility impaired. Your first Free Sport Fishing License must be obtained from the CDFW License and Revenue Branch. Subsequent licenses may be obtained from any license agent. See application for details.

No FEE only at CDFW offices

Fishing Privilege Package: Includes a Lifetime Second-Rod Stamp, Ocean Enhancement Stamp, North Coast Salmon Report Card and Steelhead Report Card.

$391.50  BUY NOW

California Duplicate Sport Fishing License: Replaces a lost or stolen sport fishing license.

$11.62  BUY NOW

California Ocean Enhancement Validation: Required to fish in ocean waters south of Point Arguello (Santa Barbara County). An Ocean Enhancement Validation is not required when fishing under the authority of a One or Two-Day Sport Fishing License.

$5.66  BUY NOW

California Second Rod Validation: Allows a person to fish with two rods or lines in inland waters, except for waters in which only artificial lures or barbless hooks may be used.

$16.46  BUY NOW

California Replacement Sport Fishing Validation – 2nd Rod/Ocean Enhancement: Replaces lost or stolen sport fishing validations.

$3.24  BUY NOW

California Resident Lifetime Fishing License Prices

California Resident Lifetime Fishing License | Ages 0 – 9:

$579.25  BUY NOW

California Resident Lifetime Fishing License | Ages 10 – 39:

$946.75  BUY NOW

California Resident Lifetime Fishing License | Ages 40 – 61:

$853.00  BUY NOW

California Resident Lifetime Fishing License | Ages 62+:

$579.25  BUY NOW

How much does a California nonresident fishing license cost online?

California Nonresident Sport Fishing License Prices

California Nonresident Annual Sport Fishing License: Required for anyone 16 yrs of age and older

$142.05  BUY NOW

California Nonresident 1-Day Sport Fishing License: Fish for 1 specified day

$17.02  BUY NOW

California Nonresident 2-Day Sport Fishing License: Fish for 2 consecutive specified days

$26.49  BUY NOW

California Nonresident 10-Day Sport Fishing License: Fish for 10 consecutive specified days

$52.66  BUY NOW

California Nonresident Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing – Disabled VET: Available for any resident or nonresident honorably discharged disabled veteran with a 50 percent or greater service-connected disability. After you prequalify for your first Disabled Veteran Reduced Fee Sport Fishing License, you can purchase disabled veteran licenses anywhere licenses are sold.

$7.73 BUY NOW or $8.13 at Agents

California Ocean Enhancement Validation: Required to fish in ocean waters south of Point Arguello (Santa Barbara County). An Ocean Enhancement Validation is not required when fishing under the authority of a One or Two-Day Sport Fishing License.

$5.66  BUY NOW

California Report Card Prices

Report cards are required for any person fishing for steelhead, sturgeon, abalone, spiny lobster, or salmon (salmon in the Klamath, Trinity and Smith Rivers only). Every person fishing for these species must have an appropriate report card, including any person who is not required to have a sport fishing license, such as a child who is under 16 years of age, a person who is fishing from a public pier, and any person who is fishing on a free fishing day.

California Abalone Report Card: Fishery is currently closed – Required for any person taking abalone from ocean waters north of the center of the mouth of San Francisco Bay. Only one Abalone Report Card may be issued per person each license year.

$25.10

California Replacement Abalone Report Card: Fishery is currently closed Replaces lost or stolen Abalone Report Card. Available only at CDFW license sales offices. Duplicate Abalone Report Card Affidavit (PDF Form)

$19.06

California Sturgeon Fishing Report Card: Required for any persons taking sturgeon.Only one Sturgeon Fishing Report Card may be issued per person each year.

$9.21  BUY NOW

California Replacement Sturgeon Report Card: Replaces lost or stolen Sturgeon Report Card. Available only at CDFW license sales offices. Sturgeon Fishing Report Card Affidavit (PDF Form)

$16.48

California North Coast Salmon Report Card: Required for any person taking salmon in the Smith River System or Klamath-Trinity River System.

$7.30  BUY NOW

California Steelhead Report Card: Required for any person taking steelhead in inland waters.

$8.13  BUY NOW

California Spiny Lobster Report Card (valid for the entire lobster season): Required for all persons taking spiny lobster. Report card holders who fail to return their Spiny Lobster Report Card or report their harvest online by April 30, will be assessed a $21.60 non-return fee when they purchase a spiny lobster report card for the following season.

$10.29  BUY NOW

Where can I buy a California fishing license?

Here are some of the best places to fish in California.

All information listed above can also be seen directly on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.